BP's CEO Hayward to Step Down in October

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BP CEO Tony Hayward will step down in October and take a job with TNK-BP, the company's joint venture in Russia, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The person told The Associated Press about Hayward's plans on Monday.  An announcement by the company has not yet been made.

Any change in leadership would have to be approved by BP's board of directors, which was meeting Monday in London to decide Hayward's fate.

The board meeting comes one day before BP releases its second quarterly report for the year.  It is speculated the report will include preliminary figures for the cost of the Gulf disaster, with analysts saying that could be as high as $30 billion.

Hayward was called back to London a month ago after a heated exchange with a congressional committee and has maintained a low profile.

"We're getting to the end of the situation," David Battersby, a stockbroker at Redmayne Bentley Stockbrokers, told the Associated Press. "To draw a line under it, they need a new chief executive."

An American Could be BP's Next CEO

Speculation abounds that Bob Dudley, BP's American managing director, may replace the gaffe-prone Hayward as the head of the oil company.
   
Residents along the Gulf appeared to be giving thanks for the reportedly pending departure of BP's CEO.

"Nobody wants this over more than I do," Hayward infamously declared in May. "I want my life back." 

"Well you know he's gotten so many people upset with his comments. I think he's apologized for it, but a lot of people still have feelings about him and the whole situation," Louisiana resident Danny Fremin said.
   
Meanwhile, Kenneth Feinberg, President Obama's point man to make sure BP quickly and conscientiously pays out the $20 billion promised to those hurt by the spill, met with skepticism in Alabama this weekend.
    
"I'll do my best, as quickly as I can, to accelerate the process that will get them some financial help - or at least some certainty," Feinberg said.

But some local residents have accused BP of stalling. They say the oil giant doesn't care what Feinberg is promising.

"I have not been out of here more than 10 minutes, and I went to that Claims Office, and their comments were that they don't care what he had to say," rental property owner Van Hibberts said.

Gulf Pet Owners Giving Up Their Pets

Pet owners who have been also been hurt financially as a result of the spill, say they can no longer afford to keep their animals.  Many pets have been appearing at animal shelters across the U.S.

"It's really heartbreaking people did give up their personal pets," said Meera Nandial, who works at Houston SPCA shelter. "If you're a pet lover and you have a pet in your family, you know how hard that can be." 

"They're going find loving families and we're going to help them get through it," shelter volunteer worker Christian Bustamante said.

People in the Gulf region have recently been handing their pets over at two to three times the rate of years past.   

"You can walk through the shelter and see the reason an animal is here," Nandial said. "And you can look at many kennel cards and see, can't afford cost."

Finally, Good News for the Gulf

Gulf residents received some good news for over weekend. Tropical Storm Bonnie fizzled out, instead of worsening the environmental disaster. Consequently, crews have returned to their efforts to plug the damaged well for good.

Residents spent the weekend giving thanks that the spill has been stopped.  So far, it appears BP's repairs are continuing to hold without any problems.

"The only thing I can say right now is the only thing that holds me together, that has always held me together, is God. That's where I get my strength from," Gulf resident Betty Dinette said. 

"There are times you feel alone and helpless. And just as you did with Katrina, you lean on God," New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond said.  

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Efrem Graham

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Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.