Mergers & Acquisitions

Marathon Petroleum Names New President and CEO

Company, which is spinning off or selling Speedway, decides against midstream separation
marathon petroleum
Photograph: Shutterstock

FINDLAY, Ohio — Marathon Petroleum Corp. has appointed Michael Hennigan as president and CEO, effective immediately. The company said in October that current Chairman and CEO Gary Heminger will retire in April after 45 years with the company.

"Despite the current turbulence in the energy and broader markets, we have a lot of opportunity ahead of us,” Hennigan said. “With the board having completed its retail and midstream reviews, my relentless focus will be on capturing commercial opportunities across the value chain and leading and empowering my executive team as we maintain our commitment to operational excellence and shareholder return."

Marathon Petroleum also has announced the unanimous decision of its board to maintain its current midstream structure, with the company retaining the general partner of MPLX LP, which owns and operates gathering, processing and fractionation assets, as well as crude oil and light product transportation and logistics infrastructure.

Following investor pressure and an ongoing strategic review that led to the decision to spin off or sell the Speedway retail network, the company was also evaluating the possibility of spinning off its midstream business, which would split Marathon Petroleum into three independent companies.

  • Speedway is No. 3 on the Top 40 update to CSP's 2019 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by number of retail outlets. CSP will release the complete 2020 list in June.

Hennigan will continue as president and CEO of MPLX GP LLC, the general partner of MPLX. 

"The board's unanimous decision to appoint Mike as our new CEO marks the conclusion of a broad and rigorous search that considered many external and several internal candidates, all seasoned executives from the petroleum refining and adjacent sectors," said Edward Galante, chair of the special committee of the board that led the CEO search process.

Hennigan has 38 years of energy industry experience in the refining and midstream space, including nearly three years with MPLX. Prior to joining MPLX GP in 2017, Hennigan was president of crude, NGL and refined products of the general partner of Energy Transfer Partners LP. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of Sunoco Logistics Partners LP. He began his career with Sunoco Inc. and held various engineering and operations roles in Northeast refineries. He assumed positions of increasing responsibility in corporate business planning, financial analysis, marketing, supply and trading and business development.

Regarding the decision not to separate the midstream business, the company said MPLX distributions to Marathon Petroleum of $1.8 billion in 2019 represent an “ongoing, large, stable source of cash flow that will be even more critical to the company following the separation of Speedway and the loss of its predictable cash flows.”

Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum is an integrated, downstream energy company that operates 16 refineries. Its marketing system includes branded sites across the United States, including Marathon retail outlets. Speedway LLC, Enon, Ohio, owns and operates approximately 4,000 convenience stores.

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