Warren Buffett: Hayward Should Not Continue As BP's CEO

Tony Hayward and Warren Buffett
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Tony Hayward and Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett says Tony Hayward should not continue as BP's CEO, so that the American people can "feel better" about the company's response to its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a videtaped interview with Willow Bay for the Huffington Post and Yahoo News, Buffett says it is not in the interest of either BP or the nation for Hayward to keep his job.

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Buffett also says "in terms of public opinion," President Obama hasn't handled the BP spill "perfectly." But he notes that even if Mr. Obama had "raged and stormed and stomped his feet and held his breath on the first day," that show of temper would not have reduced the amount of oil flowing into the gulf.

Here's the clip:

BAY: I want to get your take on BP. How do you think the president has handled this?

BUFFETT: Well, I think holding the president responsible for a blow-out at a well and what can be done - I don't know - I have no idea that I could give him that would helpful in stopping the flow of oil down there. Now, you I think you engage the best people you can and you throw every resource you can at it. But obviously, in terms of public opinion, he didn't handle it perfectly. But I think if he'd raged and stormed and stomped his feet and held his breath on the first day after the blow-out, I think the same amount of oil would probably be flowing now. (Laughs.)

BAY: If BP were one of your companies, and the BP CEO was one of your team of CEOs, what would you be saying to them right now? Would he still be working for you?

BUFFETT: He probably wouldn't. I'm not sure what fault he has to play in it, but when you have something with that impact on society, it's like the captain of the ship. They're responsible even though some second lieutenant may have made all the mistakes. But, it's not in BP's interest to actually continue with him as CEO. And I don't know him personally. He may be the most wonderful guy in the world, but it is not in their interest, and not in our country's interest, to have him continue. You need -- The American public has to feel better about the efforts that are being made in the Gulf and they're not going to feel better with the present CEO.

During the interview at Allen and Company's Sun Valley conference, Buffett disagreed with Paul Krugman's recent suggestion that the country is heading for a "third depression."

In other clips posted by the HuffPost and Yahoo, Buffett reveals the best advice he's ever received and talks about what he looks at when surfing the Internet.

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