John Watson, the chief executive offices of Chevron is reportedly set to step down by the end of September, with vice chairman Mike Wirth the likely replacement.
The appointment mimics the move done by ExxonMobil earlier in the year when Darren Woods has been appointed as the company’s CEO, a refining expert, as it moved towards prioritizing cash generation in favor of expensive exploration project.
Watson might see it as a perfect time to hand over the management, Reuters reports, citing a source familiar to the matter, who added that Watson will stay on the company’s board of directors to assist Wirth in his transition.
Although the company’s shares have risen 35 percent since Watson took to his position as CEO in January 2010, Chevron has seen cost overruns hit its two liquefied natural gas projects in Australia, with other major challenges in the Gulf of Mexico and Venezuela.
Chevron-led Gorgon LNG project has already started production while the Wheatstone LNG project is targeting first cargo in September. The two projects are expected to contribute half of the company’s dividend by 2019.