BP changing Gulf oil spill leadership

By: Whit Johnson, CBS News
By: Whit Johnson, CBS News

June 18, 2010

ORANGE BEACH, Ala.---After months of criticism for mishandling the Gulf oil spill, BP is shaking up its leadership.

More boats are joining the defense against the oil, while BP's embattled CEO is being taken off the front lines. The company's chairman told SKY News Tony Hayward will be returning to BP headquarters.

"He's been there eight weeks, and he's handing over the day-to-day operations to Bob Dudley," said Carl-Henric Svanberg, BP chairman.

On the water, the Coast Guard is promising to better coordinate private vessels loaded down with skimmers and boom.

"We know we have water men out there who have local expertise and passion," said Adm. Thad Allen, incident commander. "We want to channel that and make sure we're creating unity of effort."

Even with some two thousand private boats working to contain the oil, Gulf Coast residents still worry whether it's enough.

"You see these booms out here and that there is activity, but it doesn't seem like there is much getting done," said Steven Fitzgerald of Flora-bama Farms.

This time of year, local bays are usually full of tourists cruising around on jet skies or enjoying the fishing. Now it's closed to all recreation, and the docks sit empty.

Fitzgerald supplies produce to several local restaurants. He fears he may not have a job next month.

"This is just the start of it," he said. "They say it is going to get worse before it gets better."

Lawmakers say BP has paid less than 12 percent of claims to businesses and workers. The man President Obama chose to oversee the $20 billion compensation fund is visiting the region and promising to pay up quickly.


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