Hayward said the company has improved its safety record.
"I think we have made enormous strides as a company in the last three four years with a remorseless focus on safe and reliable operations," Hayward said.
BP is now concentrating on stopping the leak and cleaning the spill.
"We are clearly focused on minimizing the overall impact," Hayward said. "We are a big company and we intend to deal with this. We take this responsibility incredibly seriously. We absolutely will prevail and we will deal with it."
The Associated Press and ABC News' Jeffrey Koffman and Ryan Owens contributed to this report.