Sunday, June 13, 2010

Obama Has Not Spoken to BP CEO Because ... Board Calls The Shots

Two months after the massive and continuing BP oil spill/leak Obama has still not spoken to BP's CEO. Previously when the White House's clean up efforts have had some strange gap/flaw in them the administration takes steps to render the point mute; generally by doing what was suggested, even if it does so later then it should since it needed the prompting. Here however they are doubling down on not speaking to the CEO. An exit question if I may; what exactly does the Obama administration think the CEO of a company does?

Video embedded below.

"When President Obama was asked by NBC's Matt Lauer why he had not yet called the CEO of BP about the Gulf oil spill, he said he assumed CEO's just told presidents things they wanted to hear.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs had another answer.

Gibbs said Obama hasn't called CEO Tony Hayward because -- according to what Gibbs called the "executive structure of corporate governance" -- the CEO alone isn't the final word on company decisions, which are made by the board of directors.

"Look, the CEO is elected by the board. Anything that the CEO wants to do has to be approved by the board," Gibbs said.

Later, he added: "I'm telling you, based on the corporate governance structure, in order to implement what -- whatever you get from BP the CEO has to get clearance from the board to do. That's -- that's the corporate governance structure is -- is laid out."

So did that mean that Obama had picked up the phone to talk to some of these powerful board members?


"Admiral Thad Allen in his role of National Incident Commander, sent a letter to BP inviting them to attend a meeting at the White House on Wednesday June 16. Allen specifically said in the letter that President Obama will attend part of the meeting.

The letter reads, "As part of our ongoing communication, I request that you and any appropriate officials from BP, meet with senior Administration officials on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 to discuss these timely issues. President Obama will participate in a portion of this meeting."

The letter comes as many have been pressing for the Obama administration to meet and speak directly with BP officials including CEO Tony Hayward, something President Obama said earlier this week he has not yet done.

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