In an interview with Sky News, Carl-Henric Svanberg said Robert Dudley, the managing director, will be put in charge of containing the spill off the coast of Louisiana. Dudley has been in his post since 2009 after serving as president of TNK-BP, the No. 3 Russian oil company.
Svanberg said he plans to do more himself in dealing with the disaster.
"It is clear Tony has made remarks that have upset people," Svanberg said.
Tens of millions of gallons of oil have flowed into the gulf since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in April. Svanberg acknowledged the blowout now threatens the viability of the third-largest oil company in the world although he said he believes the British oil producer "will come through this."
"This has now turned into a reputation matter, a financial squeeze for BP and a political matter and that is why you will now see more of me," Svanberg said. "This incident is a tragic one and something that should never have happened."