Hayward picks BP's best brains to plan for the future

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Tony Hayward, the chief executive elect of BP, has asked his senior lieutenants to come up with a range of radical proposals that could lead to a change of strategic direction at the giant energy group.

Mr Hayward has begun brainstorming with department heads as he prepares to take the reins from Lord Browne.

Mr Hayward was named as the new boss last month when Lord Browne unexpectedly brought forward his retirement from the end of next year to this July.

Mr Hayward has met fellow executives in the past fortnight to sound them out on what the new BP should look like.

"He has started brainstorming," one source said. "Everything is on the table."

Mr Hayward, who was formerly the head of exploration and production, has also spoken to senior executives about the composition of his management team. One position up for discussion is likely to be finance director. The well-respected Byron Grote is expected to retire in a couple of years and Mr Hayward is thinking about whom to groom as his successor.

The incoming chief executive has not yet launched a formal review of the business.

BP will report annual results this week at which Lord Browne will deliver his last strategy presentation and meet shareholders. Robert Talbut, the chief investment officer at Royal London Asset Management, said: "A new chief executive would not arrive without conducting a review of what has gone on before. The company will try to focus people's attention on business fundamentals.

"However, post this, I believe that, rightly, there will be a focus upon what culturally, and possibly structurally, needs to change at BP."