Chevron Corp. Chairman and CEO John Watson, 60, is expected to resign as soon as September as the California-based oil major seeks new leadership, according to reports.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, said Tuesday Watson’s exit could be announced in September. However, a new CEO has not been finalized by the board. Watson is not expected to depart immediately and likely would remain through a transition.
Watson has run the company since 2010; he joined Chevron in 1980 as a financial analyst. He was vice chairman from 2009 to 2010, after serving as executive vice president for strategy and development. Watson also led the company’s integration effort in 2000 following the Chevron-Texaco merger and then became the corporation’s CFO.
Watson has guided Chevron through a tumultuous period following the oil price debacle in late 2014. During the second quarter, Chevron turned around a year-ago loss, while production increased and operating costs fell.
The supermajor earned $1.5 billion (77 cents/share) during 2Q2017, compared with a year-ago loss of $1.5 million (minus 78 cents). Revenue increased to $33 billion from $28 billion. Operating expenses fell 10% year/year, while capital expenditures were down by 25% through the first six months from a year ago.
Michael Wirth, 56, who was named vice chairman earlier this year, is considered the leading candidate to take the reins, according to the Journal report. Wirth, who joined Chevron in 1982 as a design engineer, also is executive vice president (EVP) of midstream and development, a position he has held since last year.
Wirth is responsible for supply and trading, and the midstream operating units engaged in transportation and power, as well as corporate strategy, business development, and policy, government and public affairs.