Unocal Executive Fred L. Hartley Dead At 73
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Fred L. Hartley, whose push for innovation and alternative energy boosted Unocal Corp. from a small oil company to an international conglomerate, died Friday. He was 73.
Hartley, the first to hold the chairman emeritus title, died at his Palos Verdes Estates home after a long illness, said spokesman Mike Thacher.
″Mr. Hartley was a creative engineer, an executive of vision and a man of great integrity who led Unocal for a quarter century,″ said Unocal chairman Richard J. Stegemeier.
Hartley, a chemical engineer, joined Unocal in 1939. As a research engineer at the refinery in Los Angeles he helped design, patent and run numerous petroleum processing plants.
Hartley once sparred with raider T. Boone Pickens.
In 1985, after a three-month skirmish, Pickens surrendered a takeover battle against Unocal and agreed to sell his stock back to the company at a slight loss.
It was Pickens’ first defeat in three years of assaults on big oil firms.
In 1953, Hartley proposed a program to sell and license Unocal technology to other companies. He became vice president of research in 1956, senior vice president four years later and president and chief executive by 1964.
He became chairman a decade later and served as a director until his death.
Hartley is best known for worldwide licensing of Unicracking, a process that converts heavy, sulfur-filled crude oil components into high-grade transportation fuels. He was a strong advocate of alternative energy sources, including oil shale and geothermal power.