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*BP's new boss vows 'change of culture'*
BP's new boss Bob Dudley has vowed to "change the culture" of how the company tackles safety issues following the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Outgoing chief executive Tony Hayward will step down from his job in October, and will be replaced by Mr Dudley, who has been in charge of BP's clean-up operations in the Gulf.
Mr Hayward told a conference call that he has been "demonised and vilified" over the oil spill, and the company cannot move on in the US with him as leader.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the departure of the BP boss does not mean the company is abandoning its responsibilities in the Gulf.
"I don't think a lot of people in any country are feeling overly sorry for the former CEO of BP," he said.
Mr Dudley says the oil spill has been a "wake-up call" for his company.
"Sometimes events like this shake you to the core, the foundation, and you have two responses," Mr Dudley told America's ABC News.
"One is to run away and hide. The other is to respond and really change the culture of the company and make sure all the checks and balances are there, just to make sure this does not happen again."
Mr Dudley says his top priority is to permanently seal the Gulf well, contain the crude spill and to clean up and restore the area's beaches.
"We'll be doing that for a long time and that is my number one focus, particularly over the next month-and-a-half," he said.
Mr Dudley praised Mr Hayward, whose PR gaffes handling the oil spill made him a target of fury in the US, for laying "the foundations for a strong focus on safe and reliable operations" at BP.
US congressman Bart Stupak, one of the leading congressional investigators into the Gulf spill, says he worries that Mr Dudley is not a true reformer.
He says he fears BP board members are "playing a high stakes game of musical chairs and simply rotating top leadership into different high-level posts."
- Source: ABC/AFP
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