Departing BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward Defends Response to Oil Spill

Tony Hayward , the departing chief executive of BP PLC, is unrepentant about how the energy giant responded to the U.S.'s largest offshore oil spill.

In his first interview after agreeing to step down from the top spot this week, Mr. Hayward said he did everything possible once the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, by taking responsibility for the spill, and spending billions of dollars to stop the spewing oil and clean up the shoreline.

Hayward added that he resented the Obama administration's lashings but "understood their frustration." While the CEO has been demonized in the US, he's become something of a celebrity in his native UK, where he was greeted with a standing ovation at BP headquarters this week. Hayward will remain at BP in a low-profile role as a board member of the company's Russia venture.