Politics

Tony Hayward Exiled to Siberia; Media "Demonized Me"

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Tony Hayward will soon be the former CEO of BP, getting ousted for his handling of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. But BP isn't letting him just walk away; he is being exiled to Siberia -- literally. Hayward's new

assignment is a key post in the company's joint British-Russian venture in the forbidding Russian city traditionally reserved for the country's worst criminals.

As he has done since the oil spill began (like when he said he wished he could have his life back), Hayward just can't figure out the right thing to say. While making the announcement, Hayward couldn't resist playing the victim.

"This is a very sad day for me personally," Hayward told reporters. "Whether it is fair or unfair is not the point: I became the public face and was demonized and vilified. BP cannot move on in the U.S. with me as its leader."

He added, "Sometimes you step off the pavement and get hit by a bus."

Hayward will step down in October.

But don't cry for him (if anyone is). The BBC reports he'll keep collecting his $1.6 million in yearly salary, keep millions of stock options, and can immediately start getting his $930,000 a year pension.

Meantime, the oil spill will ultimately cost BP $32 billion, according to incoming CEO Robert Dudley. Despite speculation this could bankrupt the company, Dudley said BP is "financially robust."