BP's Chairman Could Only Spare A Few Minutes

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg

The estimated amount of time it will take for BP to clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spillis three years or more.

But the amount of time BPChairman Carl-Henric Svanberg could spare for the company’s second-quarter earnings call with investors Tuesday was just 17 minutes.

Mr. Svanberg, the former CEO of the Swedish wireless company Ericsson , had to dash shortly after the call began at 2:00 p.m. in London, where he was huddled with outgoing CEO Tony Hayward, CEO-in-waiting Robert Dudley, and other members of the executive team.

Citing what a busy day it was, a meeting facilitator explained to investors and analysts that “Carl-Henric has other commitments he must fulfill” and that “unfortunately, he has to leave us now.” Mr. Svanberg had taken just four questions from callers.

Asked Tuesday for more details on what was in Mr. Svanberg’s afternoon planner, a BP spokesman said in an e-mail that Mr. Svanberg simply had “other engagements.”

Given that the company’s chairman doesn’t typically participate in earnings calls, the spokesman added, “his presence was the anomaly, not his absence.”

  • Watch Svanberg's Interview with Maria Bartiromo

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