BP’s embattled CEO, Tony Hayward, is stepping out of the limelight after intensifying the company’s PR issues since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill began its relentless spread — and particularly after royally ticking off certain members of Congress last week. –KA

Los Angeles Times:

BP’s chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, told Sky News television in Britain that Hayward was handing over daily operations to managing director Robert Dudley, a Mississippi native who started his career at Chicago-based Amoco Corp., which BP bought in 1998. Dudley has handled sensitive international assignments for BP in Russia and Africa.

Hayward, a soft-spoken British geologist, has been a lightning rod for criticism of BP since the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Under questioning in Washington on Thursday, members of Congress accused him of “stonewalling” and “insulting our intelligence.”

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