Meet Darryl Willis: The New Face of BP

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Vice president for resources at BP America Inc., Darryl Willis, testifes during a hearing before a Senate committee Committee June 16, 2010, on Capitol Hill. (Alex Wong/Getty)

Perhaps the only disaster equal in magnitude to the oil spill in the Gulf is the public relations disaster BP has on its hands for causing the spill. After weeks of embarrassing gaffes from BP executives, namely CEO Tony Hayward, BP is struggling to regain its footing. With the announcement that the maladroit Hayward is stepping away from overseeing daily operations related to the spill, BP is launching a media blitz in an attempt to mend their public image.

The centerpiece of that PR campaign is Darryl Willis. Willis is BP's vice president for resources who is now overseeing BP's claims process in the Gulf coast. He's also the star of a new ad campaign that seeks to portray him and the company as more caring and sincere than the steely Hayward. Part of the selling point of that strategy is the fact that Willis is a Louisiana native. 


You may have seen the ads by now, and recognize his face. And if you have, you’ve probably also heard him say this… he actually wanted the job. "I volunteered for this assignment because this is my home," he says in one ad. "I'll be here in the Gulf as long as it takes to make this right." 

Now that we've seen Willis in commercials on television, it's time to get to know him better. BP Vice President of Resources Darryl Willis joins the program to tell us about BP's latest efforts from the company's perspective, and his unenviable new position.


Darryl Willis

Produced by:

Samantha Fields and Amanda Moore

Comments [2]

timprizeman@kelsopr from London

While you will never look good after such a terrible incident, at least you can try to look competent in your response to it – so why do large companies such as BP, with almost unlimited resources and top (well, expensive anyway) advisors make such a mess of it.

Please see this article for the psychological traits (we all have) that lead to such disasterous mishandling of crises that turn them also into PR disasters:

Jun. 26 2010 03:24 PM
Suzie from Brooklyn

This interview was such a waste of air time. As a person working in the media, I totally cringed during his interview. All he did was avoid questions and repeat the same information over and over. If he is the new face of BP- America we are in trouble.

Jun. 24 2010 05:39 PM

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