Bookies take bets on CEO successor

BOOKMAKERS are taking bids on who is likely to replace BP chief executive Tony Hayward, as uncertainty mounts over who will take the helm.

Iain Conn, Bob Dudley and Doug Suttles are among some of the BP executives tipped on Irish book maker Paddy Power’s website, with odds favouring Conn, who is chief executive for refining and marketing at the embattled oil giant.

Odds are three-to-one that Conn will be the next BP boss, while Dudley is seven-to-two and Suttles six-to-one.

Paddy Power also lists ConocoPhillips’ James Mulva, Shell’s Simon Henry and Total’s Christophe de Margerie as possible heirs to the BP throne.

Ladbroke’s odds that Hayward will stand down by the end of the calendar year were five-to-one earlier this month, with 16-to-one that former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy would take over.

But it is understood that former BHP Billiton chief executive Chip Goodyear and Conn are the market favourites to take the post.

Speculation has been mounting across the UK and US since the spill began over whether Hayward will exit the oil group once the leak is capped and the clean-up is underway.