"There's no one who wants this thing over more than I do, I'd like my life back."
As chief executive, Hayward's handling of BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill left him labeled as the most hated man in America.
Two months after those infamous comments in 2010, he was out, but it seems, not down forever.
Hayward has returned to a top-line job, being appointed interim chairman of commodities giant Glencore Xstrata.
His appointment comes after a shareholder coup at the newly merged group, which pushed out chairman Sir John Bond and all the former Xstrata directors.
Hayward isn't chasing the job permanently, as he continues to run Genel Energy, the Kurdistan-focused exploration company he set up after leaving BP.
But his appointment is a public show of faith in a man once thought to be fatally damaged goods.