Tony Hayward got his start in oil at Aston University in Birmingham, England with a degree in geology, followed by a Ph.D. from Edinburgh. He joined BP in 1982 soon after graduating, and became a career BP employee. He held a series of roles in exploration and production, becoming a director of exploration and production in 1997.
In 2000, he was made group treasurer and an executive vice president in 2002. He was chief executive officer of exploration and production between 2002 and 2007. He became an executive director of BP in 2003 and was appointed as group chief executive in 2007.
Tony Hayward has come under serious fire as CEO of BP because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The spill is easily one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history and has caused serious damage to the Gulf of Mexico. The catastrophe is being blamed partly on cost saving measures enacted by BP while Hayward was CEO that reduced the effectiveness of safety equipment on board the well. He and BP initially downplayed the spill, stating on 17 May 2010 that the environmental impact of the Gulf spill would likely be "very very modest" and calling the spill "relatively tiny" in comparison with the size of the ocean. When the scope of the spill became obvious to the general public, Tony was quoted as saying “There's no one who wants this thing over more than I do, I'd like my life back," for which he was lampooned in the press for his callousness.
Tony made £3,158,000.($4,770,590 USD) in 2009
“We had too many people that were working to save the world. We’d sort of lost track of the fact that our primary purpose in life is to create value for our shareholders.”
-FRONTLINE report: The Spill, October 24, 2010
"There's no one who wants this thing over more than I do, I'd like my life back."
-USA Today, June 1, 2010
“The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume”
-Newsweek, May 14, 2010