Marathon Petroleum Appoints New Director as Part of Agreement With Activist Investor

Marathon Petroleum Corp. Logo

FINDLAY, Ohio — Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) welcomed a new member to its board of directors as it evaluates possible strategic changes to its network.

In an agreement with Elliott Management, MPC appointed Jonathan Z. Cohen to the company's board, effective Dec. 16. Cohen will fill the seat of Greg Goff, who is retiring as executive vice chairman of MPC and a member of the boards of MPC and MPLX's general partner, effective Dec. 31.

Cohen was a founder and executive of multiple energy-related businesses in the exploration and production, and midstream sectors. Among others, he was co-founder and vice chairman of Atlas Energy Inc.; co-founder of Atlas Pipeline Partners LP; and co-founder of the general partner of Arc Logistics Partners LP.

He currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of Falcon Minerals Corp. and previously served on the board of directors of Energen Corp.

"We are pleased to welcome Jonathan to the MPC board," said Gary R. Heminger, MPC chairman and CEO. "We look forward to his contributions as we continue executing on our strategic initiatives."

In October, MPC announced several leadership as it announced the company would spin off its retail network, Enon,Ohio-based Speedway LLC.

In addition to the Speedway spinoff, MPC has created a special committee to review midstream alternatives. Among the potential midstream alternatives are asset and business divestitures, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

Cohen will serve on the special committee charged with evaluating options for the midstream business, as well as the special committee of the MPC board charged with overseeing the MPC CEO search process, which continues to progress.

Elliott's Senior Portfolio Manager John Pike and Associate Portfolio Manager Phillip Zeigler commented on Cohen's appointment to the board: "We believe Jonathan will be a positive addition to the MPC board and the special committees given his extensive energy experience and financial expertise. We look forward to the continued progress of the company's ongoing strategic initiatives and think Jonathan will add a valuable perspective to those efforts."

Additionally, MPC announced its agreement to the addition of an independent advisor to serve in a non-voting capacity as advisor to the special committee of the MPC board evaluating midstream options. The board expects to provide an update on the work of the special midstream committee in the first quarter of 2020.

As for spinning off Speedway, the company is targeting early fourth quarter 2020 for completion of the transaction, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Findlay-based MPC operates the nation's largest refining system with more than 3 million barrels per day of crude oil capacity across 16 refineries. Its marketing system includes branded locations across the United States, including Marathon brand retail outlets. Speedway LLC, an MPC subsidiary, owns and operates retail convenience stores across the United States.

MPC also owns the general partner and majority limited partner interest in MPLX LP.