Ex-BP boss now Glencore chair, Tony Hayward, will respond to US graft probe

JOHANNESBURG — The name Tony Hayward will ring a bell for many who remember the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The oil spill, which occurred in April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, was the biggest of its kind in history. Hayward resigned several months thereafter. After moving on from that scandal, Hayward is now the chairman of Glencore, and he’s going to now form part of a board committee that will respond to a US probe into alleged corruption at the world’s biggest commodity trader. Glencore is already in hot water with the US Department of Justice (DoJ), and the presence of Hayward will either help it navigate the mess it’s in or shine a further probing spotlight on the company. – Gareth van Zyl

By Thomas Biesheuvel

(Bloomberg) — Glencore Plc has set up a board committee to respond to a U.S probe into possible corruption at the world’s biggest commodity trader.

Glencore chairman Tony Hayward

The committee is formed of chairman and former BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward, as well as non-executive directors Patrice Merrin and Leonhard Fischer, Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore said in a statement Wednesday.

Glencore last week said the Department of Justice demanded documents relating to possible corruption and money laundering regarding its business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela over the past decade. The news marked the latest twist in a tumultuous year for the company, knocking about $5 billion off its market value in just a day.

On July 5, Glencore moved to soothe investor concerns by saying it’ll buy back as much as $1 billion of its shares this year.

“Glencore takes ethics and compliance seriously throughout the group,” Hayward said in the statement. “The company will cooperate with the DOJ, while continuing to focus on our business and seeking to maximize the value we create for our diverse stakeholders in a responsible and transparent manner.”