Chevron Considers Upping Retirement Age to Let Wirth Stay On

Oil giant delivers 'outstanding' 2022 results
Chevron CEO Mike Wirth
Photograph courtesy of Chevron

In a vote of confidence for Chief Executive Mike Wirth, Chevron Corp.’s board of directors is considering allowing Wirth to stay at the company’s helm past the company’s established retirement age of 65. Wirth is also chairman of the board.

Wirth, 62, will turn 65 in late 2025 and directors of the public company’s board have said the company doesn’t have an obvious successor, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The company achieved strong results in 2022.

According to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, “Chevron had an outstanding year in 2022—delivering record financial performance, producing more traditional energy and advancing lower carbon businesses.” The company reported a $20 billion increase in adjusted earnings to $36.54 billion from $15.61 billion in 2021, due to increased production, realizations and higher refining margins.

The company’s U.S. production set a record, as did its free cash flow of more than $15 billion, leading the company to increase its dividend for the 36th year in a row and repurchase 4% of its shares. It spent $1.3 billion on capital expenditures aimed at incremental growth, with about 80% of it for new energy investments. In the U.S., Chevron is exploring development of hydrogen and ammonia in the Gulf Coast area.

The company achieved the record results for 2022 despite challenges such as the war in Ukraine, the pandemic and COVID-19, and political pressures fueling development of alternative energies. At its U.S. fueling stations, Chevron has invested in technology designed to make payment and checkout more efficient.

Three internal candidates are likely contenders for Chevron’s top job—A. Nigel Herne, Chevron’s executive vice president of oil, products and gas, Jeff Gustavson, vice president of lower carbon energies, and Eimera Bonner, chief technology officer, the Journal said.

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