Marathon Oil (MRO) announced on Thursday that Lee Tillman would replace Clarence Cazalot as president and CEO on August 1. Cazalot is retiring at the end of the year following a 41-year career in the oil and gas industry.
Tillman, Cazalot’s successor, is more than qualified for the position. He holds a degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Auburn University. He has worked for Exxon since 1989 and most recently served as the vice president of engineering for Exxon Mobil (XOM), where he was responsible for major project concept selection, front end design, and engineering.
With Marathon Oil focused on expanding oil exploration and global operations, Tillman’s experience makes him an excellent fit.
Cazalot said in a statement on Thursday, “we are very pleased to welcome Lee to the company. His strong leadership skills and extensive experience in global operations, project execution and leading edge technology will be invaluable.”
Cazalot certainly leaves Marathon Oil with a strong legacy. The company broke off from what would become U.S. Steel (X) in 2002 and grew its oil business through the acquisition of Ashland. In 2011, Marathon Oil spun off Marathon Patroleum, which is up 114 percent since its IPO in 2011.
Investors applauded the hire, sending Marathon Oil shares up 1.80 percent to $34.00 in trading on Thursday.