Imperial Oil president Rich Kruger retires, Brad Corson to take over

Brad Corson, a 36-year veteran and vice president of ExxonMobil Corp., will replace Rich Kruger as head of Imperial Oil, the Canadian subsidiary of the global oil producer, the company said in a statement.

“During his tenure, Rich has led the organization through a period of record upstream growth, exceptional downstream financial and operational performance, and unprecedented returns to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividend growth,” said Imperial Oil Limited board member Krystyna Hoeg.

Corson assumes the role of president immediately and those of chairman and CEO upon Kruger’s retirement at the end of Dec., the company said. Kruger has held the three posts since 2013.

“We do not anticipate the change in leadership to have a significant impact on the overall operations and strategy of the company, with both the new and former executive having career ties to ExxonMobil,” Travis Wood, an analyst at National Bank of Canada Financial Markets, said in a research note.

“We look for Imperial to continue to advance its long-term projects at Kearl and Aspen, while providing returns to shareholders through dividend growth and the buyback program,” Wood said.

Kearl and Aspen are oilsands projects northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta, with the latter due to start production in 2022, according to the Imperial Oil website. Kearl produces about 220,000 barrels of oil a day, it said.

Corson has held several posts across ExxonMobil since joining in 1983 and was most recently president of its Upstream Ventures, where he oversaw its acquisition and divestiture program, Wood said. There he completed acquisitions or partnerships in the Permian Basin, Papua New Guinea, Mozambique, Iraq and Brazil, it said.

Kruger, a Minneapolis native, started with ExxonMobil in Houston in 1981 followed by posts across the U.S. before stints in Russia, Africa and Malaysia, according to the company website. He was appointed president of ExxonMobil Production Co. in 2008, it said.

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