ExxonMobil names new president to lead XTO Energy

XTO Energy, big presence in downtown Fort Worth, gets a new president.
XTO Energy, big presence in downtown Fort Worth, gets a new president. Star-Telegram archives

ExxonMobil appointed a veteran employee with experience in drilling for oil and gas in the United States and overseas to lead XTO Energy in Fort Worth.

Sara Ortwein took over as president at XTO on Nov. 1 after serving as president of ExxonMobil Upstream Research in Houston. She replaced Randy Cleveland, who was appointed regional vice president, Americas, for the Irving-based company.

Ortwein joined Exxon in 1980 as a drilling engineer. She has served in a number of crucial positions since joining the company, including looking for new ventures in Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and as production manager for ExxonMobil’s domestic production operations.

As president of Upstream Research, she was responsible for developing and maintaining proprietary technologies in support of ExxonMobil’s global pursuit of oil and gas.

Ortwein will oversee about 5,000 employees at XTO, which specializes in handling the company’s unconventional drilling operations. XTO has about 2,000 employees in Fort Worth and occupies 10 buildings downtown.

Irving-based ExxonMobil bought XTO in 2010 for about $41 billion to gain a greatly expanded presence in oil and gas shale plays worldwide. The company was founded by Bob Simpson, Steve Palko and Jon Brumley as Cross Timbers Oil Co. and changed its name to XTO in 2001.

Ortwein, a native of Houston, earned her bachelor of science in civil engineering at the University of Texas in Austin.

She has won numerous awards for her work championing math, science and engineering, including being named a distinguished graduate from the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT in 2009.

This story contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Max B. Baker: 817-390-7714, @MaxbakerBB