When Tony Hayward gave his final press briefing shortly before departing as Chief Executive of BP he said that BP had shown itself to be “a model of corporate social responsibility” but it was “not a great PR success”.
On the face of it BP has done most things right: they have managed to cap the worst of the spill, they managed to keep most of the oil from washing up on the beaches, have paid over $300 million in compensation to the US locals whose livelihoods have been affected; So why then the furore and criticism heaped on BP and its CEO?
A failure of authenticity
I believe that the failure was one of authenticity; a failure on the part of BP leaders, past and present, to be genuine in their support for the positioning of the brand. BP, although embracing ‘green’ credentials and purporting to be the fuel brand most closely identified with sustainability, when put to...