Lord Browne is out as a director of Goldman Sachs. The former BP chief, who’d been on the board since 1999, resigned yesterday, perhaps uncomfortable with the public revelations of his lying to a high court over how he met his boyfriend Jeff Chevalier, and the company funds his lavished on him. While Goldman typically touts the Victorian line when it comes to its employees, Lloyd Blankfein offered some kind words toward Browne (though it was unclear if his comments were drafted after he’d been assured the little “PR problem” would be going away). Said Blankfein:
Lord Browne has made an enormous contribution to Goldman Sachs and our culture of teamwork, excellence and client service. He has approached every issue with extraordinary business acumen and an absolute commitment to the firm’s success. His ability to identify and deal with the important issues affecting our business and our people has helped guide this institution since we became a public company.
And in an open letter in last week’s Financial Times, 67 senior execs from various companies, including Lazard’s Wasserstein and Reuters’s Glocer showed their support for Browne, or “got behind him,” as Dealbook noted. (We kid...we kid the DealBookies... but not really since they did say that. Beat us to the punch, scamps).
Meanwhile, new BP chief exec Tony Hayward is already off to a great start, despite coming under fire for two accidents at the Prudhoe Bay oilfield in Alaska, that happened on his watch (before the promotion). The findings will be puflished in Congress next week as part of an investigation into a “massive oil spill and production cutbacks” at Prudhoe Bay, which sounds quite similar to the findings in BP’s Texas City refinery blast, which The Guardian notes “scarred the image of the company.”
BP said it will not comment on the reports until they’re published next week, and after politicians raise their questions. Nipping things in the bud is really not their style.
Lord Browne resigns from Goldman Sachs [The Guardian]
Open Letter: Lord Browne - an immense contribution to business and arts [Financial Times]
Former BP Chief Quits Goldman’s Board [DealBook]
Lord Browne, Captain of the Entertprise, Tim Allen, Thomas Edison, Ariel Sharon