John Watson became CEO in 2010.

Chevron Corp. (CVX - Get Report) CEO John Watson is planning to step down from his position after seven and a half years as head of one of the world's largest energy companies, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday citing sources familiar with the matter. 

Watson's successor has not been named, but the leading candidate to replace Watson, 60, is refining specialist Michael Wirth, 56, according to sources. Wirth was promoted to vice chairman of Chevron earlier this year. 

Watson's departure from the company is amicable, according to the Journal, even though he is retiring well before the company's mandatory retirement age. 

Chevron shares were up 0.61% to $106.43 in afternoon trading Tuesday. 

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