Thousands of jobs are expected to go at BP over the next two years after the new CEO, Tony Hayward, announced plans yesterday for a “fundamental shift” in the way the oil giant operates around the world.

The Times reports how Hayward has stamped his authority on the business, saying that BP had to bring its overhead costs down from “unacceptably high” levels and focus on generating more revenue. Four layers of management will go in parts of the BP empire, with more resources deployed instead on the front line.

In a damning verdict on the last years under Lord Browne, Mr Hayward said that staff had to be able to get on with the job without “unnecessary interference” from managers. “Our problem is not about the strategy itself but about our execution of it,” he said. “At the root of all this is a need to change our behaviours. What we are doing represents a fundamental shift in how BP works.”

The first thing BP could so is stop its equipment blowing up or leaking oil. That would be progress.