McKinley died at his home in Dallas, Texas, a Chevron spokesman said.
Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001, more than a decade after Texaco filed for bankruptcy following a major lawsuit related to the McKinley-led company’s attempt to acquire Getty Oil.
Texaco had offered to buy California-based Getty in 1984 for $10.1 billion, part of McKinley’s attempt to invigorate Texaco. However, Texas-based Pennzoil claimed it had already agreed to buy Getty and sued Texaco for $15 billion in damages, according to news reports.
Texaco filed for bankruptcy in 1987 with $34.9 billion in assets, according to the New York Times. It emerged after a reorganisation in 1988. Pennzoil and Texaco eventually settled for a payment of $3 billion.
“John McKinley established a record of strong leadership and strengthened Texaco’s operational capabilities and competitive position during his tenure,” Chevron said in a statement. “He oversaw efforts to expand the company’s asset base, including the purchase of Getty Oil, which continue to benefit our company today.”
Born in Alabama in 1920, McKinley worked at Texaco for more than 45 years until he retired in 1986 after a six-year stint as chief executive. He had served as president since 1971. He also consulted ChevronTexaco after the merger.
He was not known as a particularly benevolent leader.
“I may be interpreted as asking harsh questions, but I don’t mean it that way,” he told Fortune magazine in 1986, according to Bloomberg.
“If people are afraid of me, it’s because of fear of their own inadequacy.”