It is a pretty common belief that the leader of a company establishes its culture. If this is true, and I believe it to be so, the CEO’s who run the nation’s top corporations are not just responsible for ensuring that the company they run achieves the targeted profit margins that have been set, but they are also responsible for ensuring that the company is represented in a manner that reflects the mission and vision that is a reflection of themselves. When it comes to Marathon Petroleum Corp, that leader is Gary R. Heminger, who has been the Chairman since 2016 and CEO since 2011. While there are often complaints about the exorbitant salaries that the nation’s top CEO’s make, very few people know who these people are and what they stand for.
Following are 10 quick facts to help you get to know Gary Heminger just a little bit better.
1. He is Adequately Qualified
Very little is ever discussed as to how CEO’s are built. One has to be immensely committed to an executive career to push themselves along the tedious path of becoming a top corporate CEO. Gary Heminger has a rather impressive resume when it comes to becoming a business executive. He has held multiple executive positions within Marathon, including Vice President of Downstream, Executive Vice President, and President. He has been pushing to get to this point of prominence in his industry since the mid-1970s. While it is obvious that Gary Heminger was not some prodigy who experienced overnight success, he is definitely someone many predicted would be where he is today.
2. Trustee at Tiffin University
Being a high-level executive comes with a certain level of prestige that leads to certain honors. One honor afforded to Heminger based on his success in corporate America is the seat as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Tiffin University — a position he held for 18 years. He was also the Chairman of the Louisiana Offshore Port. The consensus is that Heminger has served in each position with diligence and honor.
3. He Is A Lifer
While many companies have practiced the policy of finding the best-hired gun to take their company to the next level, Heminger is a lifer at Marathon. He joined the company in 1975, and while he has ventured into other areas in order to diversify his skillset, he has taken the long steady road to the top. He has definitely made the most of his 40 years at Marathon.
4. He Plays in the Financial World As Well
In addition to the executive roles that Mr. Heminger has carried out at Marathon, he has also served as the director of Fifth Third Bank Corporation since 2006 — a position he still holds. Many believe that Heminger’s movement in the financial world is what makes him so valuable to Marathon as the number one man. It is certain that he is one of the most rounded corporate leaders in the nation.
5. He Has an Extensive Marketing Background
Knowledge of marketing and branding is essential to the role of leadership. It is the marketing process that helps build the brand and establish a clear brand message. Heminger spent more than eight years working in various marketing positions honing his skills and expertise in the area. Experience in the world of marketing is just one more thing that makes Gary Heminger such a valuable commodity.
6. He Has a Degree in Accounting
While it is important for CEO’s to understand the numbers, it is rare to find one that has a degree in accounting. There is a belief that the rigid parameters that govern accounting tend to restrict the creativity that is so paramount to being a good CEO; however, Gary Heminger has done a good job of mastering both. His knowledge of accounting and everchanging tax law tend to put the company in advantageous positions on a regular basis.
7. Serves on the Board of the American Petroleum Institute
Gary Heminger is a master at effectively positioning himself where he can have the optimal impact on policies, regulations, and insight that will help keep Marathon is a competitive position. His role on the board of directors and executive committee of the American Petroleum Institute is just one more strategic victory for Heminger and Marathon.
8. He Is Very Calculated in His Movements
For many people, life is simply the result of a lot of twists and turns — many of which they had very little control of. This is not the case for Gary Heminger. He is very calculated in his movement. His slow methodical climb to the top of Marathon was no an accident or coincidence. Heminger set a path to the top and he stayed the course, systematically plotting his route. Every move he made had a purpose.
9. He Is Not Quite Done Yet
While Gary Heminger is in his sixties, he has given no indication that he is ready to slow down. It is not clear what the age stipulations in his contract with Marathon require, but even if his age forces him to step down, there is so much more than he is qualified to do in business and finance, so the chance of him retiring to some lake house to fly fish for the next 20 years is highly unlikely.
10. Overseas Experience
Who knows, maybe Gary will test the waters overseas when his time at Marathon is up. He did spend three years in London as an audit supervisor prior to moving into the marketing world for eight years. While is overseas experience is not that extensive, his experience of running a company that has a global impact opens up multitudinous opportunities to do what he obviously loves.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker