ExxonMobil’s Karen McKee is the 2023 ICIS CEO of the Year


ICIS is pleased to announce Karen McKee, President of ExxonMobil Product Solutions, as the winner of the 2023 ICIS CEO of the Year Award for outstanding achievement.

The ICIS CEO of the Year Award is unique in the chemical industry as the winner is selected based on a vote among industry CEOs in the ICIS Top 40 Power Players – a global ranking of leaders driving the greatest positive impact on their companies and the chemical industry, published in ICIS Chemical Business.

In selecting the winner, each of the ICIS Top 40 Power Players was asked to vote for three individuals based on achievements in Profitability/Shareholder value, ESG (environmental, social and governance), Innovation (technology, product, business process) and success in M&A/portfolio management.

McKee will receive the ICIS CEO of the Year Award in a video Q&A interview with ICIS later this year.

“This award reflects the commitment and ingenuity of our ExxonMobil team, who are transforming how we work together to better serve our customers with needed energy and chemical products, while improving upon industry leading safety and environmental performance,” said McKee. “It is a privilege to lead such a talented team, and I am humbled to accept this award on behalf of ExxonMobil Product Solutions.”

“ExxonMobil’s Karen McKee is a dedicated industry leader advocating for sustainability with a passion for community involvement and developing new talent to shape the future of the chemicals industry,” said Jeff Skelton, CEO of ICIS.

“ExxonMobil is leading the advancement of chemical recycling of plastics at scale. It also has a huge opportunity to meaningfully reduce the carbon footprint of its chemicals and plastics, and help other companies decarbonize with big investments in hydrogen and carbon capture and storage,” said Joseph Chang, global editor of ICIS Chemical Business.

McKee oversaw the successful combination of ExxonMobil’s downstream and chemicals operations into a single Product Solutions business in 2022, further leveraging scale and integration and improving effectiveness to better serve customers.

She also engineered the successful start-up of a new polypropylene (PP) production unit in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US that doubled PP capacity at the site to 900,000 tonnes/year, and the Beaumont, Texas refinery expansion, which brought another 250,000 bbl/day of crude distillation capacity to the market.

Alongside her work at ExxonMobil, McKee has also taken key leadership roles at major chemical industry trade associations.

In 2022, at the American Chemistry Council (ACC), McKee served as Board Chair of the Executive Committee, Board Chair of the Chemical Management Committee, and was an active participant on the Plastics, Sustainability and Board of Directors committees. In addition, she is a member of the International Council of Chemical Associations’ (ICCA) Board. In 2023, McKee became Board Chair of the ACC’s Board of Directors and President of the ICCA.

In June 2023, ExxonMobil received the ACC’s Responsible Care Company of the Year Award for the second consecutive year.

Previous winners of ICIS CEO awards as voted on by the ICIS Top 40 Power Players include Dow CEO Jim Fitterling (2022), BASF CEO Martin Brudermuller (2021), Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser (2020), former LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel (2019, 2018), former BASF CEO Kurt Bock (2017), INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe (2016), former Dow CEO Andrew Liveris (2015), former LyondellBasell CEO Jim Gallogly (2014) and former PPG CEO Charles Bunch (2013).

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