John Kenneth Jamieson | The Canadian Encyclopedia


John Kenneth Jamieson

John Kenneth Jamieson, industrialist (born 28 August 1910 in Medicine Hat, Alberta; died 26 September 1999 in Houston, Texas). Jamieson was involved in the Canadian and international oil industry. During his career, he acted as the chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Corporation (formerly Standard Oil Company). (See Petroleum; Petroleum Industries.)

Education and Early Career

John Kenneth Jamieson Educated at the University of Alberta and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1931), he worked for three years as a labourer on railway and highway construction and prospecting for gold in the Cariboo area of British Colombia, before obtaining an engineering job with a Northwest Stellarene refinery. (See also Railway History in Canada; Cariboo Mountains.) After the company was acquired by British American Oil Co. (BA), Jamieson became manager of BA's refinery at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, then transferred to head office in Toronto.

Career Highlights

After the First World War, in which he had worked for the federal government's Oil Controller's Department, he joined Imperial Oil Limited (1948), a subsidiary of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, and later became a vice president (1953). He was named president of one of Standard's principal Latin American subsidiaries (1959), and then vice president of the American operating subsidiary.

Appointed president of Standard Oil Company in 1965, Jamieson became chairman and chief executive officer in 1969. When he became president, Standard (renamed Exxon Corporation in the early 1970s) was the world's largest company, with revenues twice that of the Canadian federal government. The biggest challenge of the job was maintaining corporate relations with governments throughout the world, often involving conflicting producer and consumer interests. Jamieson retired as Exxon chairman in 1975 and as a director in 1981. He remained active on the boards of several corporations from his home in Houston, Texas.

Further Reading