May 2, 2007 The Pump Handle 0Comment

John Browne, BP’s CEO has abruptly resigned over revelations about his sex life. For quite some time, Houston Chronicle’s business columnist Loren Steffy has been writing about Browne and the safety debacle known as BP. Steffy’s comments on Browne’s resignation are priceless:

Let me see if I’ve got this right. BP’s Texas City refinery blows up, killing 15 people. It’s later determined that a primary cause was the company’s desire to save money by scrimping on safety. That year, the company’s chief executive, John Browne, got a raise.

A year later, a BP pipeline in Alaska, corroded from years of poor maintenance, leaks and spills oil over the tundra. Browne got a bonus.

Now, Browne acknowledges a four-year relationship with another man, and he resigns to spare the company “unnecessary embarrassment and distraction.”

Now, he forfeits more than $30 million in stock and bonuses.

Of course, in his resignation, Browne essentially admitted he lied to a judge about the relationship, so it may be that his trademark evasiveness finally failed him.

Nevertheless, BP applied its usual tin ear to controversy. Chairman Peter Sutherland called it “a tragedy that [Browne] should be compelled by his sense of honor to resign in these painful circumstances.”

A tragedy? No, that would have been more than two years ago in Texas City. Where was Browne’s sense of honor then?

Thanks to Jordan for sending us this one.

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