William Chase, founder of UK-based potato chip company Tyrrell's Crisps, claims that the lives of British businesses trying to succeed in the United States are being made harder because of BP chief executive Tony Hayward's handling the oil spill crisis.
Chase, who founded Tyrrell's Crisps and sold it six years later, said Hayward is "far too smug" shown by the fact he left the U.S. to watch his boat sail in the 'Round the Isle of Wight' yacht race, despite continuing efforts to clean-up the major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
"[Hayward has] made PR mistake after mistake and the result is that business is five times more difficult in the U.S. than it should be for British brands," said Chase, who now runs Chase Vodka, which was recently voted best vodka in the world at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
"He's an ambassador for the BP brand and my view on the oil-spill crisis is that he should be honest. People know when you're lying and he should talk as if he means what he says. "Winning in San Francisco has really helped to build up the Chase brand's profile, which is vital. Americans love an English brand, but Hayward's antics have made things far more difficult."
Chase added that while the BP CEO, who has been criticized for several verbal gaffes and misjudging the mood in America, needs to take time off, "taking part in a high profile yacht race is totally inappropriate."