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Texaco Names Kinnear to Succeed McKinley as CEO

October 27, 1986|DEBRA WHITEFIELD

James W. Kinnear, vice chairman of Texaco since 1983, was named to replace John K. McKinley as chief executive when McKinley retires at year-end.

Kinnear, 58, also will assume the presidency of Texaco, a position now held by Alfred C. DeCrane, 55, who was named to succeed McKinley as chairman. McKinley will, however, remain on the Texaco board and also will serve as a consultant to Texaco.

McKinley, 66, had agreed in 1983 to continue as chairman and chief executive until Dec. 31 of this year, a year beyond normal retirement age at Texaco. DeCrane and Kinnear, both Texaco directors since 1977, since then have been regarded as the leading contenders for the top Texaco job.

But it has been a matter of considerable speculation which of the two would be tapped to continue the rebuilding of the energy giant begun by McKinley in the early 1980s and who will face the difficult task of fighting the $12-billion court battle with Pennzoil.

Commenting on the Pennzoil challenge in a telephone interview shortly after his appointment Friday, Kinnear said, "I don't see any changes" in the way Texaco is waging the battle in Texas courts, where an appellate decision is expected soon. But he declined to elaborate, saying he is "bound by a confidentiality agreement."

Turning to other challenges, Kinnear said that no one should expect any major strategy changes under his leadership because as a director, he has helped formulate the company's strategies for nine years.

Because the "oil industry is in a state of turmoil," he said, "Texaco faces some very real challenges." But he said he thinks that once the industry starts to rebound, Texaco will be in a strong competitive position because "the company is in better shape every day."

A native of Pittsburgh, Kinnear joined Texaco in 1954 after fighting in the Korean War and has never worked anywhere else.

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