Chevron CEO John Watson leaves

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about eight years on the job
  • Accolades and praise for Watson
  • Mike Wirth taking over
  • Watson spoke at length and said 91 words

(exechange) — San Ramon, California, September 28, 2017 — John Watson, chief executive of Chevron, leaves. His departure is made public at an early stage. As announced by Chevron Corporation in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, September 28, 2017, John S. Watson, chief executive officer, leaves the oil industry company after about eight years on the job, effective February 01, 2018.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past twelve months was 9.1 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Watson’s duties are taken over by Mike Wirth, most recently vice chairman of the board and executive vice president of Midstream and Development at Chevron Corporation.

Watson’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the position of vice president of Midstream, Strategy & Policy.

No reason given

In the announcement, Chevron did not explicitly explain the reason for Watson’s move, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information about the future plans of Watson was not immediately available.


Chevron said: “Wirth, who is currently vice chairman of the board and executive vice president of Midstream and Development, succeeds John S. Watson, who will retire from the company and its board on February 1, 2018, after 37 years of distinguished service, including eight years as chairman and CEO.”

Chevron further said: “On September 27, 2017, John S. Watson, Chairman of the Board of Directors … and Chief Executive Officer of Chevron Corporation …, elected to retire from Chevron and will resign as a Director, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, effective February 1, 2018.”

On the job as CEO since 2010

John S. Watson has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chevron Corporation since January 1, 2010.

Previously Watson served as vice chairman of the board from 2009 to 2010 and was responsible for business development; mergers and acquisitions; strategic planning; corporate compliance; policy, government and public affairs; procurement; and the Project Resources Company.

In 2008, he was elected executive vice president for strategy and development.

In 2005, Watson was elected president of Chevron International Exploration and Production Company.

In 2000, he led the company’s integration effort following the Chevron-Texaco merger and then became the corporation’s chief financial officer.

In 1998, he was elected a vice president of the corporation, with responsibility for strategic planning and mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to being elected president of Chevron Canada Limited in 1996, he held financial, analytical and supervisory positions.

Watson serves on the board of directors and the executive committee of the American Petroleum Institute. He is a member of the National Petroleum Council, The Business Council, the Business Roundtable, the American Society of Corporate Executives and the University of California, Davis Chancellor’s Board of Advisors.

Watson joined Chevron in 1980 as a financial analyst.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of California, Davis in 1978 and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago in 1980.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered John Watson’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 41.2017 ($).