Last week, 3P reported that a “shareholder revolt” was fomenting against the leadership of ExxonMobil, and yesterday marked the showdown between the two groups at the annual meeting in Dallas. Characterized as “bruised, but victorious” by the Guardian.co.uk, Exxon’s chairman and CEO, Rex Tillerson, emerged from the meeting with his leadership intact as the revolt failed to capture full support from shareholders. Tillerson, though is viewed as being more progressive than his predecessor, Lee Raymond (who in 2005, dismissed alternative fuels as “inconsequential“), is nonetheless perceived as being resistant to investing in alternative energy. And despite the support of over 70 descendants of the Rockefeller dynasty, including great-great-grandson, Peter O’Neill, and great-granddaughter, Neve Rockefeller Goodwin, the resolution to divide Tillerson’s power only received 39.5% of the shareholder vote.
According to O’Neill, Exxon needs to consider the changing needs of its customers, and argued that not investing in green initiatives would threaten the global environment and the economic stability in the long run.
Tillerson went on record to say, “We’re focused on safely and reliably meeting the growing energy demand while working to reduce our impact on the environment.” However, many opponents view the actions of Exxon as being behind the times. One investor claimed Exxon was acting like a dinosaur, not adapting to a changing environment, and if it continues down the path it’s on, “ExxonMobil-asauras will disappear.”
However, not all shareholders seemed displeased with the outcome of yesterday’s board meeting. Another investor, who said he has put two children though college due to the profits of his Exxon shares, says that the Rockefellers have lost sight of why Tillerson was hired in the first place. He told the board, “That is, to make us money.”
As of 10:42 EST this morning, Exxon shares were up nearly $0.70 from its open to $90.50.