March 3 (Reuters) - U.S. refiner Valero Energy Corp said Chief Executive Bill Klesse will step down in May after eight years at the helm, and will be succeeded by Chief Operating Officer Joe Gorder.
Valero, the country's largest independent refiner, said Klesse will remain director and chairman.
Klesse, who is 67 years old, has spent his entire 45-year career with Valero and its predecessor companies. He became CEO in 2005 and was named chairman of the board in 2007.
Gorder, who has been with Valero for 27 years, has previously held positions including senior vice president for corporate development and strategic planning.
Valero shares were up 1 percent at $48.63 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.