Who is 'John G. Drosdick'

John G. Drosdick oversaw the restructuring of Sun Company into Sunoco. He served as chairman and CEO of the company from 2000 through 2008.

BREAKING DOWN 'John G. Drosdick'

John G. Drosdick became president of Sun Company in 1996, as the company began to divest its international petroleum exploration business. Drosdick oversaw further restructuring, including modernization of the company’s refineries. In 1998, Sun Company adopted the name of its longstanding motor oil brand, Sunoco. Drosdick became Sunoco's chairman, CEO and president in 2000 and pursued a diversification strategy intended to make the company more resistant to the petroleum industry’s typical business cycles. To that end, Sunoco purchased Aristech Chemical Corporation at a low valuation from Mitsubishi. Since petrochemical profits tend to move in opposition to gasoline prices, Drosdick saw this expansion as something of a long-term hedge for the company’s profits.

In 2004, Sunoco became the official fuel of NASCAR, extending the brand’s reach. The company also continued to buy up gas stations and convenience stores, developing a steady income stream from retail sales to complement its refinery operations. Major purchases included the Coastal Mart chain in the eastern United States in 2000 and 193 Speedway SuperAmerica stores across the southeast United States in 2003.

Drosdick retired at the end of 2008, when Lynn Laverty Elsenhans succeded him as CEO. That year, Sunoco’s diverse non-refining portfolio earned a record $427 million.

Biography of John G. Drosdick

Born in 1943 in Pennsylvania, Drosdick earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania, then completed his master's degree in chemical engineering at the University of Massachusetts in 1968. He began his career as an engineer with Exxon that same year. In 1983 he joined Tosco Corp. as its vice president of refining, eventually becoming CEO and president in 1989. He then worked as president and COO at Ultramar from 1992 to 1996 before joining Sun Company.

Drosdick has held board positions or directorships at a number of entities, including Triumph Group, United States Steel Corporation, Lincoln National Corporation, GE Betz, Inc. and Hawk Acquisition Intermediate Corporation, formerly known as H.J. Heinz Company. He also has served on the board of trustees for the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

From 2001 through 2008, Drosdick served as chair of the board of trustees at Villanova University. In 2014, he committed to donating $2.5 million to Villanova to fund a new lab in the Center for Engineering Education and Research.

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