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Chevron Corp. CEO John Watson is stepping down as leader of the U.S.-based multinational oil giant, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The next CEO of the second-largest U.S. oil company behind Exxon will have to reckon with how the firm — and the industry — will position itself amid middling oil prices, projections that global demand could peak within a couple of decades, and the global push for carbon constraints.WSJ reports that refining specialist and current Chevron vice-chairman Michael Wirth is the leading candidate to replace Watson: "Chevron directors see Mr. Wirth's years of experience wringing costs out of big plants that process fuel and chemicals as a critical need in a new era for oil markets defined by low prices."

A Chevron spokesperson would not confirm to Axios that Watson, who is 60, is leaving. WSJ reports that the transition is expected to be announced in September and that the planned departure of Watson, who has been at the helm since 2010, is on "amicable terms." He's expected to remain for some time after the announcement for an "orderly transition."

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Biden reviews U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats

Five improvised explosive devices that the FBI says "were fully operational and could cause great bodily harm or injury if handled improperly." Photo: FBI/Justice Department

The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

7 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."