MEG Energy Corp. said Chief Operating Officer Darlene Gates will succeed Derek Evans as the company’s new chief executive officer, making her the only woman to helm a major oil-sands producer.

Evans, who has led MEG for more than five years, will step down as CEO and leave the board on May 1, the Calgary-based company said Thursday. Gates, 53, also will be nominated for the board on May 7.

Gates is set to become the sole current female CEO of a large Canadian oil-sands producer and one of only a handful in the history of the country’s energy industry. Gates joined MEG in 2021 and previously worked at Exxon Mobil Corp. and its Imperial Oil Ltd. Canadian unit, holding positions in Canada, the U.S., Germany and Qatar.

Evans, 67, took over at MEG in 2018 as pipeline bottlenecks weighed on Canadian oil prices, forcing him to cut spending to stabilize the company’s balance sheet. He later fended off a takeover attempt from rival producer Husky Energy Inc. The company has since boosted output and now produces around 100,000 barrels a day.

MEG’s share price has more than tripled since Evans took over, the fifth-best performance in the S&P/TSX energy index during that span.