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CEO watch: Will BP chief Tony Hayward resign?

In what is likely to be the first in a series, here's our first installment of Hayward Watch, PostLeadership's sincere but not-always-serious attempt to study BP CEO Tony Hayward's chances at keeping his job.

As of this morning, it doesn't look so good.

The Times of London is reporting that Tony Hayward will resign within 10 weeks (how specific!), as the company tries to defend itself from the threat of a buyout from ExxonMobil or Royal Dutch Shell. The report says a new strategy, dubbed Future BP, is in the works, and that a Hayward heave-ho could be linked to it. "Why keep utterly damaged goods on the shelf?" the newspaper quotes an insider as saying. "They have to do some dramatic things to protect the company."

BP spokespeople were quick to dismiss the report, saying Hayward has the full support of the board and would remain in his job.

My own experience reporting on management changes is that whether Hayward has 10 weeks or 10 months, it's rarely a good sign when company spokespeople have to start saying the CEO has the full support of the board.

Then again, neither is the viral dissemination of online spoof videos making your chief executive look a total jerk.

By Jena McGregor

 |  July 21, 2010; 2:45 PM ET |  Category:  CEO watch Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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