U.S. Official: BP's Hayward Will Be Replaced - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

U.S. Official: BP's Hayward Will Be Replaced: Watch LIVE Underwater Video

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Gaffe-prone BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward — who incensed many on the Gulf Coast by saying he wanted his life back as they struggled with the fallout from the company's massive oil spill — will be replaced, a senior U.S. government official said Sunday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not been made, was briefed on the decision by a senior BP official late last week.

The government official did not know who will replace Hayward or when it will happen. One of the most likely successors is BP Managing Director Bob Dudley, who is currently overseeing the British company's spill response.

Earlier Sunday, BP spokesman Toby Odone seemed to downplay media speculation about Hayward's departure, saying he "remains BP's chief executive, and he has the confidence of the board and senior management."

BP's board would have to approve a change in company leadership. An official announcement could come as early as Monday.

It's been more than three months since an offshore drilling rig operated by BP exploded off Louisiana on April 20, killing 11 workers and setting off the spill. A temporary plug has stopped oil from gushing for more than a week now, but before that the busted well had spewed anywhere from 94 million to 184 million gallons into the Gulf.

Since the explosion, Hayward has made several highly publicized gaffes. Among them: going to a yacht race while oil washed up on Gulf shores, and uttering the now-infamous: "I want my life back" line.

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