Photographer: Cooper Neill/Bloomberg

Exxon Adds Chemical Boss Chapman to All-Poweful Inner Sanctum

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  • British-born Neil Chapman has run chemical division since 2015
  • Powerful CEO management committee expanded to six members

Exxon Mobil Corp. added British-born chemicals head Neil Chapman to its powerful management committee as Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods shapes day-to-day management of the world’s biggest oil producer at the end of his first year in charge.

Chapman, 55, the sixth member of the group headed by Woods, will be replaced by polymers executive John Verity effective Jan. 1, the Irving, Texas-based company said in a statement on Friday. Separately, Exxon announced plans to merge its refining and marketing operations.

Chapman’s elevation comes as Woods grapples with a catalog of difficulties inherited from predecessor Rex Tillerson. In addition to the long-term challenges to expanding oil reserves and output, Exxon has been slammed with accusations of sanctions violations by the U.S. government and state-level probes into whether it hid data on climate change.

Chapman’s promotion to the highest level of Exxon’s management structure “is designed to ensure management committee leadership continuity,” Woods said in the statement. Chapman has worked in numerous roles and countries within Exxon’s chemicals business since joining a U.K. refinery in 1984.

The merged refining and marketing operations will improve decision-making and competitiveness and be headed by Bryan Milton, currently a president within the fuel business, Exxon said.

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