Francisco León, LCDA member.
He is part of the exclusive list of Latino CEOs of public companies. Graphic: Mónica Hernández/AL DÍA News.

Francisco León appointed president and CEO of California Resources Corporation

The appointment of the Latino executive is part of the company's corporate restructuring.



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California Resources Corp., an independent oil and natural gas company headquartered in Long Beach, CA, recently confirmed the promotion of Francisco León, who previously served as chief financial officer, as its new president and CEO.

León's appointment is part of a corporate restructuring process aimed at accelerating the development of its new carbon storage business, as well as reducing costs in drilling activities and non-energy operating costs.

Mark A. McFarland, former president and chief executive officer, said in a press release:

Francisco has been a fabulous partner, with extensive knowledge of CRC’s E&P business while being instrumental in the creation of our carbon business. As such, he is uniquely positioned to lead the Company in its next phase of strategic development.

Leading the Expansion

As part of its carbon storage business that began in 2021, after the company emerged from bankruptcy, León will lead this initiative that seeks to store enough carbon underground in the Elk Hills oil fields to fully offset the carbon emissions from oil and gas operations by 2045.

“I am honored to be named President and CEO of California Resources Corporation where we are dedicated to providing a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy supply for Californians, and investing in carbon management initiatives across the state, such as Carbon TerraVault and the California Direct Air Capture (DAC) Hub, that position CRC to lead the energy transition in California and beyond,” León highlighted in his LinkedIn profile.

California Resources is currently working with its financial partner Brookfield Renewable, a Toronto-based Canadian company, to implement a massive carbon dioxide injection program through the joint venture California Carbon Management Partnership.

“While the company’s financial performance has been strong, our market has evolved and therefore we are adjusting accordingly by optimizing our capital plan and increasing our focus on reducing costs. We believe our revised plan will enhance shareholder returns while positioning the Company for continued success into the future,” pointed out León.

The company plans several more similar projects this year.

Career Path

León, 46, has been with the company before it spun off from Houston-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. in 2014, and had served as chief financial officer and executive vice president since 2020.

León, who began his professional career at Petrie Parkman in 2001, spent about six years as vice president of business development, portfolio management and strategic planning at CRC from 2014 to 2020.

In addition, he served as director of Global Acquisitions and California Resource Appraisal/Assessment at Occidental Petroleum.

León holds a binational bachelor's degree in International Business from San Diego State University and CETYS University in Mexico, as well as an MBA from the University of Texas McCombs School of Business.

CRC highlights that, as CFO, León has been instrumental in building the company's carbon management business, thanks to his deep knowledge and understanding of the company's broad exploration and production business.

“Now, as we face new opportunities and challenges, I look forward to working with Mac and the rest of the Board and management team to execute on our new strategic direction to drive cash flow generation, advance and accelerate our carbon management business, and increase our financial flexibility to return more capital to shareholders,” highlighted León.

About California Resources Corporation (CRC)

It is an independent oil and natural gas company committed to the energy transition in the sector.

CRC has some of the least carbon intensive production in the U.S. and is focused on maximizing the value of its land, mineral, and technical resources for decarbonization through the development of CCS and other emission reduction projects.


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