Marathon Petroleum Corp. Chairman and CEO Gary Heminger, 66, plans to step down in 2020 after more than eight years at the helm to assuage the concerns of activist investors.
The Findlay, OH-based company, spun off from Marathon Oil Corp., has been under pressure by multiple shareholders to overhaul management and operations in recent weeks, including by hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. and D.E. Shaw Group.
Elliott initially called for a separation in 2016, and in September said it wanted midstream arm MPLX LP spun as a standalone.
However, the board did not go that far. It plans to spin off its service station chain Speedway, which “will create two strong, industry leading companies well-positioned for long-term growth and success,” Heminger said Thursday.
The separation followed a review that began in January, he said.
“I am grateful to Gary for his distinguished and successful leadership of this great company, for which he has earned the unqualified and unanimous support of the board,” said lead independent director James Rohr of Heminger.
The company said it has begun a search to find a new chief. Also stepping down by the end of the year is Executive Vice Chairman Gregory Goff, who formerly ran Andeavor.