Paul Browning Leaves Irving Oil 16 Months Into CEO Job

Paul Browning has left Irving Oil Ltd., owner of Canada’s largest refinery, 16 months after taking over as chief executive officer.

Browning left this week, Samantha Robinson, a spokeswoman for closely held Irving Oil, said in a phone interview today. She declined to comment on the reason for his departure or whether Irving Oil has a replacement and said the matter is internal.

Irving Oil, the Saint John, New Brunswick-based company owned by billionaire Arthur Irving and his family, produces more than 300,000 barrels a day of petroleum products including gasoline and diesel at its Saint John refinery on Canada’s Atlantic Coast and distributes more than half of the fuels into the U.S. Northeast, according to its website.

Browning couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on his departure.

He became CEO of Irving Oil in April 2013 after leaving his job as the president of General Electric Co.’s gas- and steam-powered electrical turbine business. Less than four months after he joined, Irving Oil announced its support for the C$12 billion ($11 billion) Energy East pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp. to transport crude from the oil sands to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick and as far away as India.

Irving Oil is partnered with TransCanada on a C$300 million marine terminal that the Saint John company will operate to export crude from the city’s deep-water port, which is scheduled to start operating after Energy East is built in 2018.

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