From stupid to stupider: BP promotes its crusader for “the small people”

I promise I won’t waste too much space belaboring the terrible management of BP in the midst of the oil disaster in the Gulf, but this story is too loopy to be ignored:

Earlier this week, BP executive Carl-Henric Svanberg just had to unburden himself of his populist sentiments on camera: “I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don’t care, but that is not the case with BP. We care about the small people.”

Wait, there’s more

In a shakeup at BP akin to a post-iceberg change of command on the bridge of the Titanic, Svanberg has been rewarded for his sensitivity to working stiffs everywhere by being promoted to head up BP’s public relations operations!  Yahoo! writer Holly Bailey could not resist a dig:

Yes, you read that right — the BP executive who famously expressed his compassion for “the small people” will be tasked with enhancing the company’s public image.

Is it any wonder?

This heartbreaking disaster has killed workers, endangered countless livelihoods, and destroyed an eco-system.  Corporate personnel moves like this one explain a lot about how company cultures lead to catastrophes.

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