BP's 'scapegoat' strikes it rich with Rothschild & Co

Year on from oil spill, ex-boss is in the money

As the first anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster approaches, the former BP boss Tony Hayward could be forgiven for wishing to see the back of 12 months in which he was dubbed America's "most hated" for his mishandling of the event.

Yet the year since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, killing 11 workers and injuring scores more, and causing an environmentally catastrophic oil spill, is proving to be more of an annus mirabilis.

Mr Hayward, who described himself as BP's "sacrificial lamb", could have sat back and enjoyed the benefits of the £1m payout and £10m pension pot awarded him on departing BP, together with the $150,000 (£91,000) he is paid to sit on the board of TNK-BP, its joint venture with Russia's third largest oil company. Instead, he is discussing a new financial enterprise with the multimillionaire Nat Rothschild that could see him rake in millions.

BP's former chief executive was at the epicentre of the maelstrom that engulfed the oil giant. Yet while many of those communities affected by the Deepwater spill are still fighting to get their lives back on track, Mr Hayward is flourishing. On leaving BP, many expected him to retire to lick his wounds to his 16th-century house in Sevenoaks, Kent, with his wife, Maureen, and his two children. He is, however, enjoying a Lazarus-like career resurrection.

Mr Rothschild, famous for his lavish hospitality, is nothing if not well connected. This proved counterproductive when he found himself unwittingly at the heart of a row between his friend Lord Mandelson and George Osborne, the Chancellor. It was claimed that Mr Osborne attempted to solicit a donation to the Tory party from the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska at one of his parties, although Mr Osborne denied this. Mr Rothschild has also been linked to Saif Gaddafi, son of the Libyan dictator. Mr Rothschild is investing heavily in energy and commodities in the Far East.

Similarly Mr Hayward, who set up his own energy advisory business, 3E Capital, last October, has reportedly been discussing new ventures with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and the wife of the Singapore Prime Minister, Ho Ching, who runs Temasek Holdings, one of the most powerful sovereign wealth funds in the world.

Last week, also saw Mr Hayward take a giant step to redemption when he landed the rewarding role of senior independent director of soon-to-be-floated commodities giant Glencore, which is expected to net him more than £100,000, plus expenses.

The rebranding isn't confined to business. Although the 53-year-old remains a West Ham fan, he has abandoned his other favourite pastime – yachting. His love of boats attracted bad PR when he was seen sailing in the Solent at the height of the oil spill disaster. Recently, he has opted for mountain climbing, summitting Mount Kilimanjaro to raise £50,000 for charity. Meanwhile, his wife, a geologist and ex-BP employee, is reportedly writing a book in defence of her husband.

Yet as Mr Hayward prepares to return to the limelight, thick coatings of oil are being found on the bottom of the ocean and wildlife is still washing up on beaches. It may take a lot longer for the angry residents of the Texas Gulf coast to forget his past.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste