Bloomberg Law
Jan. 8, 2021, 6:13 PMUpdated: Jan. 8, 2021, 9:10 PM

Marathon Oil Hires Kimberly Warnica as New Legal Chief (Correct)

Ruiqi Chen
Ruiqi Chen

Kimberly Warnica will return to Marathon Oil Corp. to be its general counsel as the company and the oil industry fight their way back from deep losses experienced amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Warnica will replace former legal chief Reginald Hedgebeth who left the Houston-based company last December after around three years.

“We are pleased to welcome Kim back to Marathon Oil leading our legal function,” the company’s president and CEO Lee Tillman said in a Friday statement. “Kim’s experience in the energy industry and her extensive leadership experience will be a complement to our legal team and the Company.”

Warnica will officially assume her new role on Jan. 11, the statement said.

She previously spent nearly three years with oil and gas company Alta Mesa Resources, Inc., where she most recently was executive vice president, general counsel, and chief compliance officer. Before that, she was the assistant general counsel and assistant secretary for Marathon Oil from late 2016 to early 2018, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Like others in the energy industry, Marathon Oil faced reduced demand and plunging oil prices during the Covid-19 pandemic, which contributed to four consecutive quarterly losses for the company. The company reported in November a net loss of $317 million for its third quarter, an improvement from losses of $750 million in the second quarter.

Earlier this week, another major Big Oil player facing hard times, Halliburton Co., announced the promotion of Van Beckwith to chief legal officer following the departure of former CLO Robb Voyles. Like Hedgebeth, Voyles also left his company after multiple quarters of loss in 2020.

Before Warnica’s first stint at Marathon Oil, she worked for Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas Inc., formerly known as Plains Exploration & Production Co., and she began her career with Andrews Kurth, which later became Hunton Andrews Kurth through a merger.

(Deletes paragraph seven, which incorrectly referred to changes at Marathon Petroleum, rather than Marathon Oil. The two entities are separate.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Ruiqi Chen in Washington, D.C. at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Chris Opfer at