No Second Chances on First Impressions

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression; so if you're BP, your second chance sure as heck better wipe out folks' first impression, because their first impression of CEO Tony Hayward can best be summed up in one word: boob.

Goal for next CEO choice: no boob.

Enter Robert Dudley, who was on no one's radar to become CEO of BP. That is, until the BP disaster and BP CEO Tony Hayward proved such an unmitigated disaster.

Maybe it's because Tony was British or Tony was aloof or Tony was British and aloof. Bottom line: Tony wasn't cutting it, so BP obviously decided to cut a new path with a CEO who maybe wasn't British and who wouldn't appear aloof.

Enter Mr. Dudley, who has two things going for him: He isn't British (he is American) and he is from Mississippi, so really, an ideal American — an American who shares the Gulf region's pain because he was and is a Gulf-region boy.

Here's another thing that Mr. Dudley has going for him: very low expectations. He can thank Tony for that. The guy proved such a P.R. nightmare, that all Dudley has to do is show up and not speak with a British accent and he's a hit.

A hit still getting hit, mind you, but maybe not as hard hit.

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