Sunday, June 20, 2010

Well-earned private time

BP has a problem. A real problem.

And it goes beyond the environmental and ecological disaster taking place in the Gulf of Mexico. It also has a chief executive who is either clueless or arrogant. Compounding that problem is a public relations team that needs a significant amount of education.

The latest evidence that BP is doing its best to destroy its reputation is this -- its chief executive, Tony Hayward, was seen off the English coast enjoying "well-earned private time" with his family while watching his yacht in a race.

What? Well-earned private time? It's no wonder the White House noted that Mr. Hayward's poorly timed decision to chill out was the latest "in a long line of PR gaffes" made by the corporation.

I'm inclined to agree with a comment made by a Friends of the Earth coordinator in this story in the Guardian newspaper:

"Personally I don't think that the bloke is particularly competent from the results that he has delivered. He obviously doesn't have the technical know-how but he should at least be managing the image of the company better."

I'd like to know if Mr. Hayward has any concern about the people in the Gulf of Mexico who definitely won't be enjoying any well-earned private time any time soon. Or if the public relations "professionals" at BP have a clue.

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