BP CEO to walk away with $18 million: report

LONDON Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:29am EDT

BP CEO Tony Hayward delivers his opening statement about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico at the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 17, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files

BP CEO Tony Hayward delivers his opening statement about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico at the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 17, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward will collect a pay and pension package worth at least 11.8 million pounds ($18.03 million) when he steps down from his role at the company, the Times newspaper reported on Sunday.

The Times said Hayward will be giving up 546,000 share options and a maximum of 2 million shares in the company under a long-term incentive plan, now worth an estimated 8 million pounds.

A BP spokesman dismissed the report as "rumors," adding that Hayward remained chief executive and had full support of the board.

BP has decided Hayward should step down over his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and his departure could be announced in the next 36 hours, sources close to the company said.

BP's board is due to meet in London tomorrow to discuss a plan for Hayward to step down and be replaced by Bob Dudley, a senior U.S. executive who is currently managing the oil spill response operation, the sources said.

(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; editing by Diane Craft)