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.