BP Bigwigs: Men Behind the Oil Spill Under Pressure

"Very few companies, if potentially any, could have amassed the fleet of response vessels we have today," he said.

Byron Grote, Chief Financial Officer

Total 2009 Compensation: $11.4 million.

Grote, who holds a Ph.D in quantitative analysis from Cornell University, worked at The Standard Oil Company of Ohio before BP bought the company in the late 1980s. He rose through the ranks to become executive vice president, exploration and production, in 1999 after the BP-Amoco merger. He oversaw the acquisition of Atlantic Richfield Co., another oil company, before becoming chief executive of BP Chemicals.

Grote reassured investors during a conference call earlier this month that the company was in good financial shape despite the mounting price tag of the spill.

"We've got considerable firepower to deal with any costs," he said.

ABC News' Jake Tapper and Alice Gomstyn contributed to this report.

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