Chevron chief executive John Watson plans to step down as the petroleum industry prepares for a period of lower oil prices, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
A transition would be announced next month. The leading front-runner to replace Watson is executive vice president Mike Wirth, but the plan has not been finalized and could still change, said the newspaper, citing unnamed sources.
A Chevron spokesman said he could not comment on the report.
If appointed, Wirth would be the latest head of a large oil company with extensive refining industry experience. That profile is expected to become more important in a period of lower oil prices that will constrain spending.
Appointed chief executive in 2010, Watson oversaw a number of massive development projects in far-flung corners of the world that accounted for a big jump in capital spending.
However, Chevron, like other oil companies slashed its capital budget following a two-year slump in oil prices due to oversupply. Chevron originally announced a 2017 capital budget of $19.8 billion, down 42 percent from 2015.
© 2017 AFP