John Watson is planning to step down as Ceo of Chevron Corp., according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Michael Wirth, vice chairman of the company's board of directors, is likely to replace as CEO, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the development. The California-based integrated oil company is expected to announce the change in September, the Journal said.

Watson Managed Chevron Well in Oil Price Downturn

Watson took the CEO office in 2010. He is also chairman of Chevron's board.

Watson spent his entire career at Chevron.

From 2001 to 2005, he worked as the company's chief financial officer. Prior to that, he served as vice-chairman of the board from 2009 to 2010. Watson was named chairman and CEO in 2010 to replace David O’Reilly. He joined Chevron in 1980.

During his seven-year tenure as CEO, Watson hasn’t launched any new projects or made any major acquisitions. Since he became CEO in January 2010, the company’s stock is up around 38%, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average has more than doubled during the same period, according to Reuters.

The oil price downturn, which was started in 2014, has created many challenges for oil companies around the world. The downturn wiped out $50 billion from Chevron’s market value.

For the first time in 37 years, the oil giant posted an annual loss in 2016. The company had to slash more than 6,000 jobs worldwide and more than 3,000 in the United States as part of its cost-cutting plans.

Industry watchers believe that Watson hasn’t done a bad job as CEO. Oliver Pursche of Bruderman Brothers told Reuters that Watson performed well “during the oil price slump" to manage the oil giant’s businesses.

Wirth Could Be New Chevron CEO

Wirth, who is reportedly going to become CEO of Chevron next month, has been vice chairman of the board of directors of the company since February 2017.

In addition, Wirth is Executive Vice President of midstream and development. He oversees supply and trading business as well as the company’s midstream operating units engaged in transportation and power.

He is also engaged in corporate strategy, business development, and policy, government, and public affairs, according to Chevron's website.

Previously, Wirth served as executive vice president of downstream and chemicals. From 2003 to 2006, he was president of global supply and trading, leading Chevron's worldwide supply and trading operations as well as the company's aviation, marine and asphalt businesses.

Wirth joined Chevron in 1982 as a design engineer after earning a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Colorado.

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