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DALLAS — Two months after entering a deal signaling its near exit from the operations side of the convenience channel, Sunoco LP will head into its future with new leadership.
On June 22, President and CEO Robert Owens announced his intention to retire from the partnership on Dec. 31. He joined Sunoco in 1997 and took the reins as president and CEO in 2012.
"We thank Bob for his many years of strategic leadership, which has resulted in an impressive list of accomplishments for both the employees and the unitholders of Sunoco, and wish him and his family the best," said Kelcy Warren, chairman of Energy Transfer Equity LP, the entity that owns the general partner of Sunoco.
"While we are sad to see Bob go, we are excited for the next generation of leadership at Sunoco to take on larger roles. Joe is an exceptionally talented leader and he has played a significant role in the planned transformation of the partnership from a retail-based business into a premier nationwide fuel supplier," Warren added.
Joe Kim, who has been serving as executive vice president and chief development officer for Sunoco since 2015, has been appointed president and chief operating officer (COO) effective immediately.
Owens will continue as CEO until his retirement and will then serve as a consultant to the partnership through 2019.
Sunoco executives Cynthia Archer, executive vice president and chief marketing officer and Boyd Foster, executive vice president manufacturing and distribution, are also retiring from the Partnership effective Dec. 31.
"Additionally, the appointment of Joe as president and COO and Bob continuing as CEO through year-end will ensure an orderly transition as we move through the divestment of our retail operations during the coming months," Warren said.
Owens joined Sunoco as senior vice president of marketing where he was responsible for Sunoco's retail network, wholesale marketing and transportation operations, and commercial supply and trading activities for crude oil, refined products, and petrochemicals.
Prior to joining Sunoco, he held executive positions with Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corp., Amerada Hess Corp. and Mobil Oil Corp.
Kim has been responsible for the partnership's strategic development and planning overseeing both business development and Sunoco's real estate portfolio. Prior to joining Sunoco, he held various executive positions, including COO for Pizza Hut and senior vice president-retail strategy and growth for Valero Energy.
The changes in management come on the heels of Sunoco's agreement to sell approximately 1,108 convenience store to 7-Eleven Inc. for $3.3 billion. As Sunoco shifts toward a focus on fuel, Owens called the transaction a "pivotal first step," as CSNews Online previously reported.
As part of the transaction, Dallas-based Sunoco will enter into a 15-year take-or-pay fuel supply agreement with a 7-Eleven subsidiary, under which Sunoco will supply approximately 2.2 billion gallons of fuel annually. This supply agreement will have guaranteed annual payments to Sunoco, provides that 7-Eleven will continue to use the Sunoco brand at currently branded Sunoco stores and includes committed growth in future periods.
"The sale of these retail assets to 7-Eleven is the beginning of an exciting evolution for Sunoco into a premier nationwide fuel supplier," Owens said at the time of the April announcement. "Our supply agreement with 7-Eleven provides Sunoco with a predictable long-term income stream, and this transaction quickly allows Sunoco to improve its financial profile."
Dallas-based Sunoco LP is a master limited partnership that operates 1,355 convenience stores and retail fuel sites and distributes motor fuel to 7,825 convenience stores, independent dealers, commercial customers and distributors located in 30 states.
Its general partner is a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Transfer Equity LP.