June 16th, 2010
08:20 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Carl-Henric Svanberg

President Obama will have his showdown Wednesday with BP top executives and said he will tell the company it must pick up the tab for the massive oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama is scheduled to meet with BP CEO Tony Hayward and with Svanberg, the oil giant's chairman, who has kept a lower profile so far as the Gulf disaster worsened.

According to The Swedish Wire, Svanberg, 58, was appointed BP chairman in 2009. Before then, he was CEO of Ericsson, a telecommunications firm. The Swedish-born former ice hockey player and hockey fanatic is listed as a member of the advisory board of the Earth Institute of Columbia University in New York.

The website's biography reports that "he is personally committed to and an advocate for many corporate responsibility issues, including human rights, climate change and the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals."

The Swedish Wire: BP's Carl-Henric Svanberg in the limelight

CNN: Obama, BP set for Gulf oil showdown

Earth Institute: Advisory board biographies

Rex Tillerson

The chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil told a congressional hearing that his company wouldn't have handled the Gulf oil disaster the way BP has.

"We would not have drilled the way they did," Tillerson told lawmakers Tuesday.

Along with executives from Shell, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, Tillerson distanced his oil company from BP's actions.

"There were clearly a lot of indications of problems with this well for some period of time before loss of control. Why they were not dealt with differently, we don't know," Tillerson said.

According to Exxon Mobil's website, Tillerson earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering at the University of Texas at Austin before joining Exxon Co. U.S.A. in 1975 as a production engineer.

He is a member of the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America, a director of the United Negro College Fund and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Exxon Mobil: Rex Tillerson bio

Ray Mabus

Obama on Tuesday selected the Navy secretary to develop a long-term plan for the restoration of the states affected by the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Mabus, 61, is a former governor of Mississippi whom the White House has called a proven leader.

Mabus was born and raised in Mississippi, attending college at the University of Mississippi. He earned a master's degree at Johns Hopkins University before enlisting in the Navy near the end of the Vietnam War. After the Navy, he attended Harvard Law School.

The Democrat was elected to office for the first time in 1983, becoming Mississippi's state auditor. Five years later, Mabus became governor at age 39, the youngest state leader in the nation at the time, according to the Mississippi Historical Society.

Mabus was named one of Fortune magazine's Top 10 education governors in 1990, according to his biography on the National Governors Association website.

CNN: Obama chooses Navy secretary to lead Gulf recovery efforts

Michael Bromwich

Obama on Tuesday also appointed the former Justice Department watchdog in the Clinton administration as the new head of a reorganized federal effort to regulate offshore oil drilling.

A White House statement said Bromwich would "lead the effort to reform the Minerals Management Service," an Interior Department agency accused of corrupt practices and poor oversight of offshore drilling in the run-up to the Gulf oil disaster.

"For a decade or more, the cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency was allowed to go unchecked," Obama said in a White House statement. "That allowed drilling permits to be issued in exchange not for safety plans, but assurances of safety from oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore."

Bromwich, a lawyer who specializes in internal investigations and regulatory matters, was the Justice Department inspector general from 1994-1999 under President Clinton. The job entailed investigating alleged corruption and misconduct in the department.

CNN: Obama names new top drilling regulator

Patti DeLuna

The 61-year-old American Airlines flight attendant helped her captain land a Boeing 767 airliner - with 225 passengers aboard - at O'Hare International Airport on Monday after the flight's first officer became ill with a bad stomach flu.

"I was the best available [backup pilot] they had on the plane," DeLuna told the Chicago Tribune from her California home. "My first question to the captain was, 'Where are the brakes?' "

A flight attendant of 32 years, DeLuna had piloted a plane some 20 years ago, had only 300 flight hours and an expired commercial pilot's certificate.

"I felt terrible for the first officer," DeLuna said. "But I was so excited. It was way more fun than serving meals from the galley."

According to the Tribune report, the 767 is so sophisticated that one pilot can handle the plane, but there is enough work for two, especially during descent into crowded airspace.

Chicago Tribune: Flight attendant says co-piloting 'more fun than serving meals'

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Kayla

    Tony Hayward is a lying piece of crap. No one should believe anything he says.

    June 16, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      unfortunately, Obama can't promise that all these problems will be solved "within a few days", since
      BP hasn't proposed NEW, BETTER AND FASTER SOLUTIONS, as clearly required by U.S. Coast Guard
      but ONLY some NEW "PROMISES" to solve the problem more quickly... just another couple of months
      so, I've developed a new and BETTER "super cap" that can be built and installed in a couple of days
      read a description with the drawing of my new idea in my article latest update: http://bit.ly/c8y9GX
      the only other alternatives to my simple, cheap, fast to build and install proposal to fix the leak are:
      1. the (unknown) new "cap" ready for mid-july after 50,000,000 more gallons of oil spilled in the Gulf
      2. a drilling of the two relief wells finished in mid-august after 100,000,000 more gallons of oil spilled

      June 16, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      if we look at all their decision and to the real results in two months, we could call the BP guys a "C-Team"... or... the "only 5,000 barrels a day" boys... 😐

      June 16, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. frank

    BP is now changing it's name to BC – Beyond Control or Bloody Potheads from originally stating 5k a day to 1 million gallons a day. What a mess!

    June 16, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Texan

    I guess that's one of the main things that really tick me off about this whole mess........all the outright lying BP has been doing. I'd like to see the run out of our waters....I don't care if it does run up gas prices. It would be worth it.

    June 16, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Henry Miller

    Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea for the airlines to train more flight attendants as emergency backup pilots...

    June 16, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dan Smith

    "At BP, we care about the small people." – BP Chairman of the Board Carl-Henric Svanberg's comment to the media after meeting with President Obama – June 16, 2010

    How soon can we put these executives in jail?

    June 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kay Ames

    Just read a biography of BP Chairman of the Board, Carl-Henric Svanberg on Business Week's site (Google Carl-H etc.).. his name may appear aristocratic to the average American, but he had humble origins in Sweden; was a boy scout, described as having respect for a hard-work ethic, who as a student worked in jobs on docks, a garbage man ... Hopefully some of that ethic will still be in his conscience in dealing with the folks on the Gulf Coast. His choice of words , saying helping the "small people" on the Gulf may not have been intentional due to his native tongue being Swedish, though folks from that country are quite fluent in our language.I would say he's head that choice of words from haughty Brits. But his style of mgt. in his work in other corporations before BP as described was to allow his executives to have a lot of local responsibility.This approach was considered innovative in Europe in his past. Don't know if he was at BP long enough to have imprinted this style of mgt., but if they at BP were doing that we can see this de-centralization may have caused less over-sight as long as there was productivity. I have no apology for BP's lack of safety and being so risky at our expense. A joke to pass on "Have you heard about the new car that runs on water? Well the water has to come from the Gulf of Mexico."

    June 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrik

      His poor choice of words are in fact due to the very same expresson, "the small people", having a very different meaning in swedish. We refer to "the small people" when we're talking about the common person, the individual. He still messed up but it's quite understandable I think, as most of our expressions cross-over very well into english

      June 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Taylor

    BP Record Thus far for Carl Henric Svanberg- Missing in Action – Putting blame on Hayward -Calling BP as Big and Important as the USA – calling the victims the Small People -Taking his Mistress on Holiday during the Explosion – Exposed for Breaking up two marriages – Missing in Action again – Nothing positive to report – Except the Board's Call for his Resignation
    Track Record in the Oil Business – a slimy mess for someone else to clean up! – and plenty of time for sailing the high seas with whoever your money can buy – not a lot looking at your latest!

    July 8, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |