Chevron names Wirth to replace retiring CEO

Chevron names Wirth to replace retiring CEO”

The transition brings an executive with experience in the cost-cutting world of refining to the top spot at one of the world's largest oil and natural gas companies.

(FILES) This file photo taken on June 2, 2015 shows Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson as he addresses a keynote speech during the World Gas Conference in Paris.

Watson, who will not hit the company's mandatory retirement age of 65 for another four years, sees the change as an opportunity to hand over the reins of a growing enterprise to Wirth, the source told Reuters last month.

Wirth, 56, said, "I appreciate the confidence that John and the board have placed in me. I am honored to have been selected to carry on that tradition", Wirth said in the release.

He credited Watson with developing Chevron strongholds from Australia to West Texas' Permian Basin.

The newly-voted CEO joined Chevron as a design engineer in 1982 and advanced through the ranks of various construction and engineering positions and also served as president and vice president of multiple sectors of the company. He was appointed vice chairman and executive vice president in February of this year. He joined Chevron in 1980 as a financial analyst.

Chevron's lead independent board member Ronald Sugar praised Watson for helping the company grow, including his leadership of the Chevron acquisition of Texaco in 2000 before he became CEO. "I am proud of many Chevron accomplishments, but none more so than the improvements we made in process safety and leadership development".

Mr. Watson, who will turn 61 next month, said when he took over the chief executive job he would stay seven to 10 years but would not leave until he found the right successor.

Prior to his current position, Nelson, 54, served as the president of International Products, responsible for the refining and marketing businesses in Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Asia.

Chevron also announced that its vice president for strategic planning, Mark Nelson, will become vice president of midstream, strategy and policy on February 1. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif.

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