BP Chief Vows to Cut Red Tape

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BP Chief Vows to Cut Red Tape

LONDON -- The new executive of BP, Tony Hayward, plans to strip out bureaucracy and complexity from the company after the departure of former CEO John Browne, reported Times Online.

The head office in St. James Square will be streamlined as part of cultural shift to play down Browne's emphasis on the environment and refocus BP on profits and operations, the report stated. The shift can be seen with the decision to move BP chairman Peter Sutherland's office from the sixth to the fifth floor, opposite Hayward's office.

Hayward also transformed Browne's office suite, which was designed for the former chief by Viscount Linley, into a meeting room, the Times Online reported. The desk and chairs designed by Linley, the son of the late Princess Margaret, were replaced with standard office furniture.

In addition, a shift to efficiency will transfer resources from head office to frontline personnel. Sources close to BP told the Times Online that Hayward wants to stimulate more internal debate and make the company's leadership more collegiate.

Further, the heads of BP's business units are encouraged to discuss parts of the business other than their own at top executive meetings. The new management style will try to break down the remote, top-down culture that developed in recent years and inhibited the upward transmission of bad news, the Times Online reported.

An unnamed source informed the Web site that Hayward told colleagues: "Bad news told early enough to do something about it is good news."

While Hayward and other directors discussed dropping the slogan "Beyond petroleum," he decided against it. The aim was to shift market perception, and the new shift was still eclipsed by Browne's message about the environment, the report stated.

One company official told the Times Online: "There are many questionable activities which have grown up inside the company in recent years, which are only peripherally connected to making money. We have become like a social organization. Tony wants to get back to business."