Lifetime of Achievement: Mike Wirth

Driving future sustainable outcomes for an established energy corporation

Talk about commitment to the cause. Wirth’s career journey is one of loyalty and service to the multinational energy corporation Chevron. From responsibilities as President, Global Supply and Trading, to his long-standing position as Chairman of the Board and CEO of the company, Wirth has been a part of more than 40 years of development with the business, having entered it in 1982. 

He’s at the helm of one of the most established energy firms in the world and takes pride in working with an invested team of engineers, analysts, scientists, business professionals, and environmentalists, to secure energy for the future while delivering a strategy for sustainable transition and long-term energy wealth. From his seat at the table, Wirth has experienced the immense shift in energy over the past four decades, having assisted Chevron’s teams in navigating the many disruptions and transitions taking place in the industry. 

It all started for Wirth back at the University of Colorado, where he studied a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and leapt straight into the business shortly after. 

However, for him it was more than a career choice, as he put himself in various positions to drive the industry forward from outside of the organisation. Pre-pandemic, Wirth entered a variety of influential positions alongside his employed commitment to support other institutions with critical decisions. These include being a member of The Business Council US, a Board of Directors and Executive Committee Member at the American Petroleum Institute, and also on the Board of Directors at Catalyst Inc. 

Alongside these positions, Wirth supports the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, as well as the National Petroleum Council, and American Society of Corporate Executives—all groups looking to drive change while empowering the industry to take dramatic actions to future-proof operations.

As the CEO of Chevron, Wirth is at the forefront of sustainability and his position enables him to facilitate significant changes to meet future energy trends. With one of the highest total carbon emissions on the planet, Chevron holds a major stake in emissions reduction and Wirth’s position is one of great media vulnerability. Nevertheless, at the same time the company must continue to supply energy to uphold the demands of growing and struggling economies. 

With global disruption to energy supply an imminent threat, Wirth wrote to President Biden in 2021 to discuss his concerns and the potential downfalls of the sector as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war. 

A renewable journey for Chevron

During his time, Chevron has seen some major changes in the energy landscape. Nevertheless, the company strives for reduction in emissions thanks to innovations incorporating soybean products and used cooking oil, which the company experiments with to determine a renewable diesel supply. 

As the company is now in the third year of consistent sustainability and emissions reporting, Wirth is looking to address the climate change challenge head-on while also managing the health and wellbeing of its people and the communities surrounding the business’ activities. 

When it comes to emissions reduction, the CEO said in the company’s 2022 Sustainability report: 

“Lowering the carbon intensity of our business begins with aiming to make our oil and natural gas production among the most efficient and responsibly produced in the world.”

Due to his unwavering efforts to drive Chevron forward and extend its attention to more sustainable offerings, Wirth was recognised as number four of the Energy Digital Magazine ‘Top 10 Leaders’.


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