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Activist Investors Pressure Marathon Petroleum CEO To Resign

Activist Investors Pressure Marathon Petroleum CEO To Resign

Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE: MPC) investors Paul Foster and Jeff Stevens, who control around 1.7% of the company, are calling for CEO Gary Heminger to be replaced, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. 

What Happened

Activist investor Elliott Management had called for Marathon to split itself into three business units, but Foster and Stevens said in a letter obtained by WSJ they no longer have confidence in Heminger's ability to lead.

The investors said they have the necessary experience within the refining, mid-stream, and retail businesses and added that  Elliot's proposals are a good start — but don't go far enough.

Foster was Western Refining's chairman and Stevens served as CEO before it was bought by Andeavor in 2017 and then acquired by Marathon in 2018.

The two investors said in their letter that, under Heminger's leadership, Marathon has shown "destruction of value," and the executive's decision to ignore their insights "causes us great concern," according to WSJ. 

Recent attempts to set up a "meaningful private dialogue" with Heminger or the company's lead independent director were rejected, the investors said.

Why It's Important

A proxy battle could play out, but Marathon is standing by is leader. A company spokesman told WSJ the Marathon board fully supports Heminger, who boasts a "track record of delivering value to shareholders and all of the company's constituencies."

What's Next

Marathon shares were up 2.56% at $62.42 at the close Friday. 

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Photo courtesy of Marathon.


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