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Tony Hayward's New Life: Adviser to the Ultra-Rich and -- Get This -- Safety Expert!

Tony Hayward, the infamous former CEO of BP, has managed pull off one of the best rebounds of disgraced chief executives. Since Hayward was forced out voluntarily stepped down from BP in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, Hayward has joined the board of TNK-BP (BP's joint venture in Russia); was named partner at AEA Investors, private equity firm for the uber-rich; and took a $240,326-a-year job as senior independent director at Glencore. In short, he got his life back.

His position at Glencore is particularly audacious. Hayward will advise the Swiss commodities giant on safety, health and the environment, executive compensation packages, and board of director appointments as the company plans its initial public offering, according to Glencore's prospectus filed earlier this month:

The environment, health and safety committee will be responsible for formulating and recommending to the board Glencore's policy health and safety as well as environmental, security and local community issues as they affect Glencore operations, according to the prospectus.
WSJ's Deal Journal first blogged about Hayward's new role at Glencore and provided a little context.
The IPO could value Glencore at around $61 billion -- or about one-third more than the $41.3 billion BP has set aside for costs tied to the explosion of its Deepwater Horizon rig and the oil spill.
Please pause to appreciate the irony.

Hayward's new position is cringe worthy. But his appointment also brings up a valuable question for companies looking for expertise: Who do you hire, the person with the perfect record or the guy who's been through the ringer?

Hayward's resume:

  • He became CEO of BP with a plan to change its profits-over-safety culture;
  • He overhauled management, slashed overhead by one-third and increased efficiency;
  • He failed to fix the problem and in April 2010 the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and damaged BP's Macondo well, which would ultimately spew some 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
So Hayward tried and failed to change BP. And he tried and failed to steer the company through the Gulf disaster. If he's learned anything from this experience, he may be ideally suited for the job at Glencore.

Photo from BP

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