Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg told Sky News Friday that Managing Director Robert Dudley had been given responsibility for the spill. But a BP spokeswoman, Sheila Williams, told The New York Times that Hayward was delegating some day-to-day tasks and not being stripped of authority.
"Obviously, Tony's main priority remains overseeing all BP operations," Williams said. "Over all, there will be some responsibilities handed over, but Tony will remain in full control until we have stopped the leak."
Hayward has become something of a lightning rod as oil continues to drain from a blown-out BP well. On Saturday, there were reports he was attending a yacht race in England or, as Williams put it, "having some rare private time with his son." His boat, "Bob," finished fourth in its class.
Svanberg said in the Sky News interview some of Hayward's comments had "upset people." That suggested he was laying the ground for Hayward's ouster.