SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Chevron Corp. has named Michael Wirth chairman and CEO, effective Feb. 1, 2018. He succeeds John Watson, who will retire from the company and its board on Feb. 1 after 37 years of service, including eight years as chairman and CEO.
- Chevron is No. 9 on CSP’s Top 202 convenience-store chain ranking for 2017. It is No. 3 in CSP’s Fuels 50 Top 10 by Market Share.
"Mike is a proven leader who is ideally suited to lead Chevron into the next chapter of our history," said Watson. "He has the right values, knowledge and experience, and has established a strong record of accomplishment in his 35 years with the company."
Wirth joined Chevron in 1982 as a design engineer. Since that time, he has advanced through a number of engineering, construction and operations positions. Wirth became vice chairman in Februrary 2017. He is also executive vice president of midstream and development, a position he has held since 2016. Previously, he was executive vice president of downstream and chemicals for nearly a decade. Prior to that he served as president of global supply and trading and president of marketing for Chevron's Asia, Middle East and Africa business, based in Singapore.
Watson joined Chevron in 1980 as a financial analyst and went on to hold financial, analytical and supervisory positions before being appointed president of Chevron Canada Ltd. in 1996. In 1998, he became a corporate vice president with responsibility for strategic planning and mergers and acquisitions. In 2000, Watson led the company's integration effort following the Chevron-Texaco merger and then became the corporation's CFO. In 2005, he became president of Chevron International Exploration and Production. In April 2009, he became vice chairman of the company, before the company named him chairman and CEO in September 2009.
"John has done an outstanding job in guiding the company through one of the industry's most tumultuous periods,” said Ronald Sugar, lead independent director for Chevron's board. “During John's tenure, Chevron's stock has outperformed its peer companies by a wide margin and he leaves the company well prepared for the future. Mike is ready to be Chevron's next chairman and CEO. He has the right business experience and leadership qualities to extend the company's success, and the board has full confidence in his ability to do so."
In a related move, Mark Nelson will become vice president of midstream, strategy and policy, effective Feb. 1. In his new role, Nelson will be responsible for the company's supply and trading, shipping, pipeline and power operating units. He will also oversee corporate strategy, as well as policy, government and public affairs.
Prior to his current position, Nelson served as the president of international products, responsible for the refining and marketing businesses in Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Asia. Before that, he was president of Chevron Canada Ltd.
San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron is a major integrated energy company that explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas and refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants, petrochemicals and additives.
Chevron is one of the few U.S. oil companies still maintaining a direct-operated retail network. More than 8,000 U.S. retail locations sell Chevron-branded products, and the major oil company supplies more than 2,500 gas stations in southern and eastern states with Texaco-branded fuel. Chevron's retail network includes more than 800 company-owned and franchised Chevron ExtraMile stores.
In its most recent retail venture, Chevron USA Inc. partnered with Jacksons Food Stores to grow the ExtraMile convenience store brand across the Western United States, creating a new joint company to oversee the expansion. Click here to read more about the new division.