New York, July 28 (ANI): British Petroleum chief executive Tony Hayward has claimed that he has been 'demonized' and vilified by the American media over the Gulf oil spill and defended himself saying 'sometimes you step off the pavement and get hit by a bus'.
"Whether it is fair or unfair is not the point, I became the public face and was demonized and vilified. BP cannot move on in the U.S. with me as its leader," Hayward claimed.
According to the Daily News, he compared being in charge of BP when it caused the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history to being blindsided in the street.
"Sometimes you step off the pavement and get hit by a bus," he added.
Hayward helped blacken his image by attending a yacht race in clean English waters as Gulf Coast residents choked on BP oil, calling the spill "tiny" compared to the size of the sea, and whining that he wanted his life back, the paper states.
T-shirts on sale in New Orleans depict oil-soaked pelicans with the words "I'd like my life back, too."
"Did I make some mistakes? Of course I did, but would I have changed fundamentally what BP did, and the role I played in it? I think the answer is no," the paper quoted Hayward, as saying.
Meanwhile, BP has announced that Hayward would step down with effect from October 1, and would be replaced by American Robert Dudley, who is currently overseeing the company's clean-up operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
Calling BP's response to the spill "a model of what corporate social responsibility is all about," he expressed his love for the company.
"This is a very sad day for me. I spent my entire professional career at BP. I love the company and everything it stands for," Hayward said. (ANI)