Fueling success: Ron Brenneman’s legacy in the oil and gas industry

Ron BrennemanRon Brenneman, who graduated from the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry (ChemE) at the University of Toronto in 1968, is a highly accomplished business executive and industry leader with a remarkable career spanning over four decades in the oil and gas sector.

Renowned as the former President and CEO of Petro-Canada, one of Canada’s leading integrated energy companies, Ron’s visionary leadership and strategic expertise propelled the company to unprecedented heights from January 2000 to August 2009.

Under his astute guidance, Petro-Canada experienced exponential growth, expanding its market capitalization more than fourfold to an impressive $25 billion. This extraordinary achievement was realized through a dynamic combination of timely acquisitions on the international stage and organic growth from valuable assets off the east coast of Canada and in the oilsands. Additionally, Ron’s leadership facilitated Petro-Canada’s ascent to a dominant market position in the refining and marketing business, establishing the Petro-Canada brand as a symbol of excellence and industry leadership.

In a defining moment, Ron managed the successful merger of Petro-Canada with Suncor Energy in 2009, thereby shaping the future of the Canadian energy landscape. He continued to contribute his expertise as Executive Vice Chairman, overseeing the seamless integration of the two entities. In February 2010, he retired from Petro-Canada, leaving an indelible mark on the industry.

Prior to his illustrious tenure at Petro-Canada, Ron’s career flourished at Imperial Oil and Exxon, where he dedicated over three decades honing his skills and making remarkable contributions. Along his journey, he held esteemed positions such as Vice President of Production, Vice President of Corporate Merger, Senior Vice President and CFO, and President. His exceptional leadership and strategic acumen propelled him to the position of CEO of Esso Benelux, where he spearheaded Exxon’s production, refining, and marketing business in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. In 1997, he transitioned to Exxon headquarters as the General Manager of worldwide corporate planning and retired from the company in 1999. His retirement was short-lived though, as he was swiftly enticed back into industry by Petro-Canada in 2000.

Beyond his remarkable corporate achievements, Ron has dedicated himself to serving on the boards of esteemed organizations such as The Bank of Nova Scotia, Bell Canada, WestJet Airlines, and Ithaca Energy. Furthermore, his influence extended to the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, and the United Way of Toronto. Known for his philanthropic endeavors, he actively participated in fundraising for several charitable causes, including the United Way of Calgary, UNICEF Canada, Mount Royal College, The Alberta Children’s Hospital, Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

A testament to his strong character, Ron has shared a loving and enduring marriage of 55 years with his high school sweetheart. Now truly retired in Calgary, Ron enjoys spending time with his grandchildren including one who is currently playing hockey with the London Knights of the OHL Jr A.

Ron Brenneman is a distinguished member of a group of accomplished alumni from ChemE 6T8 who are still very active and passionate about their profession. As they celebrate their 55th anniversary, ChemE is inviting all alumni who graduated from years ending in 3 or 8 to join them for an exciting alumni mixer and departmental lab tours on June 3, 2023.

This event promises to be a fantastic opportunity for alumni to connect with old friends and colleagues, share stories and memories, and explore the latest advancements and innovations in ChemE. Make sure to register now to secure your spot at this unforgettable event, which promises to be both informative and enjoyable.