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OBITUARIES / PASSINGS / Harold J. Haynes

Ex-CEO of Standard Oil

July 10, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Harold J. "Bill" Haynes, 83, a civil engineer from Texas who rose to chairman and chief executive of Standard Oil Co. of California before it became Chevron, died of cancer Wednesday in San Francisco.

After a 34-year career with Standard Oil, Haynes retired in 1981 at 55 and embarked on a 28-year affiliation with the Bechtel Group. He served as consultant, director and on the engineering company's board of counselors.

A Fort Worth native, Haynes enrolled at Texas A&M University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. After serving in the Navy, he returned to Texas A&M and received his bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1947.

He joined Standard Oil as an engineer in the company's Gulf Coast production operations, then moved to its Venezuela operations. He also worked in marketing and general management before becoming president of Standard Oil in 1969. He was made chairman of the board in 1974.

As chairman and chief executive, Haynes led Standard Oil's efforts to increase domestic oil production and explore alternative forms of energy with the drilling of geothermal wells.

When he retired, Standard Oil was the fourth-largest oil company in the United States. It became Chevron Corp. in 1984 when it merged with Gulf Oil and is now based in San Ramon.

Besides serving as a consultant and advisor at Bechtel and the Fremont Group, a private investment firm, Haynes sat on the boards of the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), Boeing, Citicorp-Citibank, Hewlett-Packard and Weyerhaeuser, among others.

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