An industry legend who helped save the Delaware City refinery from the wrecking ball has announced his retirement.
PBF Energy Inc. announced that Thomas D. O’Malley, will retire from his positions at PBF and its logistics limited partnership at the end of June.
Thomas Nimbley, CEO of PBF and PBFX, will take the title of Chairman of the Board upon O’Malley’s retirement.
O’Malley will continue to act as a consultant to PBF through December 2018.
O’Malley, who will mark his 75th birthday in July, commented, “With the pending closing of the purchase of the Torrance Refinery, PBF has grown into an important member of the U.S. refining industry. The leadership team at PBF is, in my view, fully capable to continue the tradition of safe and profitable growth.”
Nimbley remarked, “Tom O’Malley has been an iconic figure in our industry for over 40 years and he will be missed. That being said, I believe that, under Tom’s leadership, we have built talented, knowledgeable, and focused Executive Teams at PBF and PBFX who will carry on his legacy of creating shareholder value by operating our facilities in a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible manner, by maintaining a strong financial position and balance sheet and growing the companies organically and through accretive acquisitions.
On a personal note, I have worked with and been mentored by Tom for over 15 years and am enormously grateful for that opportunity. On behalf of all of us at PBF and PBFX, we wish Tom and his wife, Mary Alice, all the best in their future endeavors.”
Gov. Jack Markell issued the following statement praising O’Malley:
“Tom O’Malley is an industry leader and a visionary. He saw the Valero facility and its outstanding workforce as an opportunity to create a new refinery business, putting hundreds of our neighbors and friends back to work. Delaware will always be grateful for our partnership with Tom.”
O’Malley, a blunt-spoken New Yorker and self-described “short, bald, Irishman” who drove a cab while going to college, served as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of PBF Energy since its formation in November 2011, served as Executive Chairman of PBF LLC and its predecessors from March 2008 to February 2013 and was CEO from inception until June 2010.
O’Malley served as Chairman of the Board of Petroplus Holdings A.G., listed on the Swiss Exchange, from May 2006 until February 2011, and was Chief Executive Officer from May 2006 until September 2007.
O’Malley was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Premcor, a domestic oil refiner and Fortune 250 company listed on the NYSE, from February 2002 until December 2004, and continued as Chairman until its sale to Valero in August 2005.
O’Malley’s experience with the Delaware City refinery, while heading Premcor, led to PBF, then tied to Petroplus, to make a bid to buy the refinery in 2010, from Valero.
The Delaware City refinery, by some accounts, was losing $1 million a day under Valero’s management and was headed for demolition.
Petroplus went on to suffer large losses, before going out of business. O’Malley ended up taking the heat for his management of Europe’s largest independent refiner and what critics described as a misunderstanding of the industry on that continent.
Industry analysts wondered if O’Malley was making a bad bet with the Delaware refinery, which is difficult to operate, since it handles both light and heavy grades of crude oil.
The financing package for the Delaware economy included private equity investors and a package from the State of Delaware saved about 500 direct jobs and perhaps an equal number of construction and related jobs.
PBF, which now has its stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange, went on to acquire refineries in Paulsboro, NJ; Toledo, Ohio and recently the New Orleans area and Torrance in southern California.
The company moved quickly to capitalize on industry trends and was quick to transport crude oil from North Dakota through a massive fleet of rail cards. The move drew criticism from environmentalists worried about spills.
With lower crude oil prices, PBF has sharply cut the number of rail shipments to Delaware City.
Meanwhile, PBF will not close on the sale of the Torrance refinery until current owner Exxon demonstrates the site can be offered in a reliable manner. The California refinery was rocked last year by an explosion that caused heavy damage at the site
Before joining Premcor, O’Malley was CEO of Tosco Corporation. This Fortune 100 company was the largest independent oil refiner and marketer of oil products in the United States, with annualized revenues of approximately $25 billion when it was sold to Philips Petroleum Company in September 2001.
He entered the refining industry after working as a commodities trader for Solomon Brothers.