Sunoco to restructure top management

Two months after taking over as chief executive officer of Sunoco Inc., the Philadelphia oil refiner and marketer, Lynn Elsenhans moved yesterday to restructure her top-management team.


Sunoco said two senior vice presidents, including chief financial officer Thomas W. Hoffman, would retire Dec. 1. Their successors have not yet been named.


"We're going to be searching to fill those two positions," spokesman Thomas Golembeski said.


Three other senior vice presidents will assume new duties.


Vincent J. Kelley, 48, formerly in charge of refining, will become senior vice president for refining and supply.


Michael J. Hennigan, 49, formerly head of supply, will become senior vice president for business improvement, a position in which Sunoco said Hennigan "will lead a new companywide effort to improve Sunoco's cost structure and business-process efficiency."


And Bruce G. Fischer, 53, formerly in charge of chemicals, will become senior vice president for strategy and portfolio, which will have him responsible for joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.


Sunoco said Bruce D. Rubin, 52, vice president for polymers, would take over Fischer's duties running the company's broader petrochemical operations.


Also retiring in December will be Rolf D. Naku, 58, senior vice president for human resources and public affairs.


"We're redefining some roles and responsibilities as we make changes to strengthen the organization," Golembeski said. He said Hoffman and Naku "both felt it was the right time to retire."


In a statement, Elsenhans said: "These changes reflect Sunoco's ongoing commitment to build a better, stronger organization as we face unprecedented challenges in the refining industry and the overall economy. Volatility in crude-oil markets, changing demand for gasoline and distillate products, and new refining capacity being added throughout the world mean that Sunoco has to take steps now to strengthen its position for long-term growth."


Formerly executive vice president for global manufacturing at Royal Dutch Shell P.L.C., Elsenhans took over Aug. 8 as CEO of Sunoco, whose revenue in the last 12 months has climbed above $50 billion as crude-oil prices have risen. In 2007, the company had net income of $1.5 billion on $44.7 billion in sales.


Along with other companies in the energy sector, Sunoco has not seen its share prices soar with revenue. In trading yesterday, Sunoco shares closed at $26.74, down $4.28.


Last Oct. 15, with the overall market near its most recent peak, Sunoco closed at $76.69.


Contact staff writer Jeff Gelles at 215-854-2776 or