Chevron's Watson to Take Over as CEO

John Watson will replace David O'Reilly who has held the position for 10 years.

Things are changing at the second largest U.S. oil company. Chevron chairman and chief executive David O'Reilly will step down after a decade at the helm, and will be succeeded by vice chairman John Watson.

Watson, 52, who has had a 29-year career with Chevron, takes over the top job in December, just eight months after he was named vice chairman. He began his Chevron career as a financial analyst in 1980 and shot to prominence when he led the company's integration with Texaco in 2000. He has since held a variety of senior posts, including chief financial officer, head of international exploration and production and head of strategy.

"Chevron is well positioned to enter the next chapter of its history and John's the right person to lead the company in the future," the 62-year-old O'Reilly said. "I leave knowing that Chevron is in very capable hands and that its board and executive team will not miss a beat in moving the company forward to even greater accomplishments," he said.

The Chevron board also elected executive vice president George Kirkland to be vice chairman, retaining responsibility for overseeing Chevron's global exploration and production activities for crude oil and natural gas.

O'Reilly, a native of Ireland, will retire from the company and its board after 41 years, including 10 years as chairman and CEO.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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