Hayward Is Sacrificial Lamb Sent to Siberia: Rogers
Web Producer, CNBC.com
The changes at the top of BP's management announced Tuesday are just a symbolic gesture, Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, told CNBC in an interview.
BP confirmed that embattled CEO Tony Hayward will step down in October, to be succeeded by fellow executive director Robert Dudley. At the same it reported a $17 billion loss for the second quarter.
"Tony Hayward happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, they needed a sacrificial lamb, they have sent a sacrificial lamb to Siberia," Rogers said.
"I think he'll have more fun in Siberia than in Mississippi or Alabama right now because he's so disliked down there," he added.
Rogers, a hedge fund pioneer who started the Quantum Fund with George Soros 1970, is not taking any position on BP stock, because in cases of oil disasters like this, "there is plenty of time to watch and wait."
BP announced that Dudley, the US executive managing BP's efforts to respond to the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, will get the CEO job on Oct. 1.
Hayward has come under intense criticism from US politicians for the company's reaction to the worst oil spill in US history.
"A lot of this is politicians just trying to get themselves on TV or in the press to make a name for themselves. They have not helped this at all," Rogers said.
He said that many of the problems in this case stemmed from the fact that "the government has improper regulations or didn't supervise things in the first place."
"Whenever something goes wrong, unfortunately in America, we blame other people. Especially politicians always find somebody to blame; instead of acknowledging their own responsibilities to some extent, they blame other people."
Rogers said he does not expect a takeover of BP because the potential liabilities "are so huge."