BP needs to protect its shareholders. So sell your assets in the U.S. to one of the other energy majors while you still can. Just remember theres a big world out there, with a lot of oil and cars in it. Your job is to look after the owners of the company, not make yourself acceptable to a country that doesnt want you anymore.
Of course, doing this really will make Hayward the most-hated man in the country. But then, who cares? George W. Bush was the most-hated man in France, but since he wasnt looking for any votes in Bordeaux, it didnt count for much.
BPs image in the U.S. matters only so long as it tries to do business in the U.S. If it cuts its losses and gets out now, it can carry on fine in Japan, France, Argentina and all the other countries where no one is really that bothered by what happens in the Gulf of Mexico.
Just say: Thanks for everything guys. It was good while it lasted. Sorry about the oil spill, but so it goes. Goodbye and goodnight.
Read the whole thing. It could turn Ayn Rand into a Socialist.