The iPad vs. BP

The tech marvel takes on the corporate pariah

The iPad

When Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in January at a company event in San Francisco, somebody in the audience wolf whistled. Nicknamed the Jesus tablet, Apple’s iPad (a portable touch-screen computer that can play videos, surf the Net, and serve as an e-reader, to name just a few of its functions) hit store shelves in April, selling over 300,000 units in its first day. Its success sent traditional media stalwarts (the Washington Post, the New Yorker) scrambling to become iPad-compatible. This sleek tablet turned out to be so good, it made everyone forget how ridiculous the name “iPad” once seemed.

BP

Former CEO Tony Hayward—the man tasked with explaining the world’s largest-ever oil spill—climbed to the top of oil giant BP as a reformer who stated, after a 2005 refinery explosion, that his company’s leadership “doesn’t listen sufficiently well.” But after the Deepwater Horizon spill, Hayward, 53, didn’t seem to have absorbed his own lessons. He told reporters he “wanted his life back,” refused to answer queries from congressmen, and attended a yacht race while one of the worst environmental catastrophes on record slowly unfolded.

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