Suncor CEO to retire next year, be replaced by COO

FILE PHOTO - President and Chief Executive of Suncor Energy Steve Williams addresses shareholders during the company's annual general meeting in Calgary, Alberta, April 30, 2013. REUTERS/Todd Korol

(Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc said on Wednesday its chief executive will retire mid-next year, with the company’s chief operating officer taking over the top job at that time.

Steve Williams, who has been with the company for 16 years and CEO since 2012, will step down after Suncor’s Annual General Meeting in May 2019, the Calgary-based company said.

He will be replaced by COO Mark Little, who was also named company president, effective immediately, Suncor said. Little joined the company in 2008 and was appointed COO last year.

“I’m confident in Mark’s ability to lead the company going forward,” said Williams in a statement. “He has significant experience, business acumen, passion and energy which will serve him and Suncor well.”

Suncor is Canada’s second-largest energy producer, with a diversified portfolio of oil sand operations and refineries.

Reporting by Julie Gordon in Vancouver; Editing by Tom Brown