New Phillips 66 CEO introduces himself to Bartlesville business
The new chief executive officer of Phillips 66 addressed the Bartlesville Regional Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, discussing the impacts of workforce changes, federal regulations and inflation on the company.
In his first address in Bartlesville since taking on the role July 1, Mark Lashier discussed the company’s ongoing projects, including the conversion of a San Francisco refinery into a renewable fuel facility, and various economic forces on Phillps 66.
Like other industries, Lashier said Phillips 66 is seeing shifts in its workforce as Baby Boomers retire and younger employees reassess their careers post-pandemic.
“We’re seeing a wave of that go through the system. I think it’ll calm back down. … certainly the entire industry, the entire economy saw this wave of resignations as there were a lot of opportunities being created to do other things,” Lashier said.
During the address, Bartlesville City Councilmember Paul Stuart asked what Phillips 66 is doing to diversify recruiting and hiring.
Lashier said the company has made changes in recent years to its recruiting process and has worked to make employees feel like they belong once hired.
“If you look at the demographics of Phillips 66 today, it’s much changed. It’s most closer to the communities that we serve,” he said. “We continue to focus on making sure we are recruiting and hiring from across the communities that we serve and to make sure we’ve got selection processes that aren’t biased in any particular direction. It takes very deliberate work to do that and it’s a long road.”
State Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, asked Lashier how the company is working to educate federal leaders about the energy industry.
Lashier said that in recent weeks, the Biden administration sent a letter to several energy executives questioning their management of gas prices. Federal leaders were considering various moves to address rising prices at the pump, including an export ban.
In response, Lashier and others had meetings with federal leaders in talks that “were very constructive,” he said.
“They laid out their political realities … we explained to them the facts and data about how that would actually work counter to what they wanted to do,” he said. “The greater concern today is inventory. … People are consuming (fuel) about as fast as we can produce it and we’re coming into hurricane season.”