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Kinder Morgan president and COO Steve Kean. Image courtesy of Rice University.

Kinder Morgan president and COO Steve Kean said Wednesday he will take the reigns as CEO when founder Richard Kinder eventually transitions into his role as executive chairman.

The company has not provided a projected timetable for the leadership change.

Kinder, 70, is expected to step down as CEO and stay on as executive chairman, a role that will allow him to still be involved in major decisions at the company.

Kinder is “not retiring” and has no plans to sell any of his Kinder Morgan shares, the company said.

A Kinder Morgan spokesperson confirmed Kean, 59, will take over for Kinder although the appointment must still be approved by the company’s board

Kinder founded the company along with William Morgan and other investors in 1997 when the group purchased the Enron Liquid Pipeline.

The company is now the largest midstream company in the world.

In August, Houston-based Kinder Morgan inked a $44 billion deal with its subsidiaries and related companies that unified all operations under Kinder Morgan Inc.

Shareholders approved the merger in November.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2014.