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Report: Marathon Petroleum's board discussing CEO's future, strategy

Marathon Petroleum Corp. board members are meeting with activist investors about CEO Gary Heminger's future and the company's strategy after calls were made to divide its businesses to unlock $39 billion in value, Bloomberg News reported Oct. 17, citing unnamed sources.

Bloomberg reported that investors Paul Foster and Jeff Stevens met with several board members Oct. 16, while Elliott Management Corp. and D.E. Shaw & Co. LP are expected to meet with the directors Oct. 17.

Stevens and Foster, both former board members at Andeavor, which was acquired by Marathon Petroleum for $23.3 billion in 2018, told Marathon board members that there was significant support from shareholders for Heminger to step down. They also said shareholders had agreed with Elliott to split the company, according to the report.

However, the board members said shareholders told Marathon's investor relations team that they are not pushing for Heminger's removal.

The activist investors want Executive Vice Chairman Greg Goff to replace Heminger, who was given an exemption from the company's mandatory age of retirement, Bloomberg reported. Goff, the former Andeavor CEO, said he fully supports Heminger as CEO.

Sources told Bloomberg that Marathon aims to decide on the CEO and its strategy by its third-quarter earnings call Oct. 31.

In September, Foster and Stevens claimed that Heminger and the board refused to meet with them.

Heminger said he and board members have met with Foster and Stevens, who together hold about 1.7% of the second-largest integrated refiner in the U.S. Heminger said a follow-up meeting was set for Sept. 30 but was canceled by both investors, according to Bloomberg.

Elliott Management Corp., which owns about 2.5% of Marathon Petroleum, had said splitting the company into three segments for refining, logistics and retail will unlock $39 billion in value.