According to a number of British media outlets, the embattled chief executive officer of BP is expected to leave the oil giant as early as this week .

Citing unidentified sources, British media like the BBC and the Sunday Telegraph newspaper are reporting that BP chief executive Tony Hayward is negotiating the terms of his departure before the firm's second quarter results announcement, which is expected Tuesday.

Hayward has been highly criticized for his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill following the Deepwater Horizon fire and explosion on April 20th.

One month later, he shocked some when he said he longed for the disaster to be over so he could, "Have his life back."  The remark was seen as particularly thoughtless given the fact that 11 workers lost their lives in the accident.  Weeks later, footage of Hayward yachting around the Isle of Wight brought him even more bad publicity.

In response to the British media reports, company spokesman Toby Odone said, "Tony Hayward remains BP's chief executive, and he has the confidence of the board and senior management."

But former BP senior manager and the current chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Richard Pike says the company is looking to start to new chapter. "It all rests on reputation and I guess BP is intending that this, the next few days, maybe the next few weeks at the latest, will be the start of a new beginning for the company, whatever form that may take," he said.

Pike says he is confident that BP can remain a huge successful firm and he firmly predicts it does have a future.

Some reports here suggest American Bob Dudley, the company's point man in the Gulf, will take over the top job upon Hayward's departure.