Marathon Petroleum announces new leadership roles

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, the largest petroleum refinery operator in the United States, has appointed Raymond L. Brooks as its new chief executive officer, effective January 1, 2024. Brooks, who has been serving as the executive vice president and chief operating officer since 2019, will succeed Michael J. Hennigan, who will retire at the end of this year

Along with Brooks, the company has also named Anthony R. Kenney as its new chairman of the board, Maryann T. Mannen as its new president, and Timothy T. Griffith as its new vice chairman. Mannen, who joined Marathon Petroleum in 2014 as the chief financial officer, will be responsible for overseeing the company’s refining, marketing, and transportation segments, as well as its corporate functions. Griffith, who has been the president of Speedway LLC, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum, since 2018, will lead the company’s midstream and renewable fuels businesses

Marathon Petroleum announces new leadership roles
Marathon Petroleum announces new leadership roles

In addition, the company has announced that Donald C. Templin will retire as the president of MPLX LP, another subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum, on March 31, 2024, and will be replaced by Kristina A. Kazarian, who is currently the executive vice president and chief financial officer of MPLX. Kazarian will also join the board of directors of MPLX

To fill the vacancies created by these changes, Marathon Petroleum has promoted Brian K. Partee to be the executive vice president and chief financial officer, Thomas M. Quaid to be the senior vice president and controller, and James R. Wilkins to be the senior vice president of corporate development. Partee, Quaid, and Wilkins will report to Mannen

A strategic move to enhance performance and value

The announcement of the new leadership roles comes as Marathon Petroleum is undergoing a strategic transformation to enhance its performance and value for its shareholders, customers, employees, and communities. The company has recently completed the sale of its Speedway retail business to 7-Eleven, Inc. for $21 billion, and has announced plans to spin off or sell its renewable diesel joint venture with ADM

The company has also committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 30% by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, as part of its sustainability goals. The company is investing in low-carbon technologies and projects, such as carbon capture and storage, renewable natural gas, hydrogen, and biofuels, to support the energy transition and meet the growing demand for cleaner energy.

Brooks, the incoming CEO, said that he is honored and excited to lead Marathon Petroleum into the future, and praised the achievements and contributions of Hennigan, Templin, and the other retiring executives. He also expressed his confidence in the new leadership team and their ability to execute the company’s strategy and vision

“I look forward to working with our talented and dedicated employees, our strong and diverse board, and our new leadership team to build on our momentum and deliver long-term value for all our stakeholders,” Brooks said

A positive reaction from the market and analysts

The news of the new leadership roles was well received by the market and analysts, who viewed it as a sign of stability and continuity for Marathon Petroleum. The company’s stock price rose by 2.3% on Friday, December 22, 2023, closing at $74.65 per share.

Some analysts also upgraded their ratings and price targets for the company, citing its improved financial position, operational efficiency, and growth prospects. For example, Morgan Stanley raised its rating from equal-weight to overweight, and its price target from $75 to $85, saying that Marathon Petroleum is “well positioned to benefit from a recovery in refining margins, a strong midstream cash flow, and a disciplined capital allocation.”

Similarly, Goldman Sachs increased its rating from neutral to buy, and its price target from $80 to $90, stating that Marathon Petroleum has “a compelling valuation, a robust balance sheet, and a clear path to unlocking value through its strategic initiatives.”

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