Glencore Xstrata names ex-BP boss Hayward as chairman

Thu May 8, 2014 4:11pm EDT
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By Silvia Antonioli and Karolin Schaps

LONDON (Reuters) - Glencore Xstrata (GLEN.L: Quote) confirmed Tony Hayward as permanent chairman of the mining and commodities trading group, sealing the former BP (BP.L: Quote) chief executive's comeback from the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Hayward, who is also chief executive of London-listed oil company Genel Energy Plc (GENL.L: Quote), has been Glencore Xstrata's interim chairman since last May, when his predecessor Sir John Bond was ousted by shareholders.

At the time, Glencore Xstrata said Hayward would return to his role as a senior independent director once a chairman was found.

Other leading candidates for the role were former Vale (VALE5.SA: Quote) boss Roger Agnelli and ex-BG BG.L CEO Frank Chapman, sources said. The final decision was made after consultation with shareholders.

Hayward's confirmation as chairman of one of the world's largest mining groups completes his return to the corporate big league after he was forced out of BP (BP.L: Quote) following the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

He was severely criticized for his handling of the disaster that killed 11 people and left huge stretches of sea and coast fouled with oil.

"Tony Hayward's experience at BP, including resolving the TNK-BP dispute and his subsequent success at Genel mitigate the negatives that surrounded his departure from BP," Nomura analysts said in a note to clients, referring to BP's then Russian joint venture.

He is expected to eventually step down as chief executive of Genel, the oil and gas explorer he has invested in alongside British-born financier Nat Rothschild, a source close to the matter said.   Continued...

A logo of Swiss mining company Xstrata is shown at their headquarters in Zug, November 13, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer