ExxonMobil Loses At Least Two Board Seats In Shareholder Election

ExxonMobil Loses At Least Two Board Seats In Shareholder Election

At least two of ExxonMobil corporation’s slate of twelve “independent” directors were defeated at the company’s annual meeting yesterday — a majority of shareholders voted in favor of two of the challengers put forward by upstart hedge fund Engine No. 1. 

Why This Matters:  It was a really bad day for big oil.  Between the Dutch court’s order that Shell cut its emissions faster and the stunning and highly unusual loss for ExxonMobil at the hands of some of its largest institutional investors, the industry is likely feeling the heat and seeing the tide rising against them.

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ExxonMobil’s Shareholder Meeting Drama — Board Seats Contested By Pro-Climate Hedge Fund

ExxonMobil’s Shareholder Meeting Drama — Board Seats Contested By Pro-Climate Hedge Fund

A group of investors is attempting to displace four members of the ExxonMobil Board of Directors in the Board election at the annual meeting to be held on Wednesday — and according to Axios and The Washington Post, this challenge represents a battle for the future of the oil and gas giant. 

Why It Matters:  This election campaign is not driven by climate activists or political pressure — it’s about return on investment and long-term financial weakness.

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US Oil Giants Chevron and Shell Discussed Merger, As S&P Warns of Industry Downgrades

US Oil Giants Chevron and Shell Discussed Merger, As S&P Warns of Industry Downgrades

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday (paywall) that Chevron and ExxonMobil, the two “descendants” of Standard Oil, held preliminary merger talks early in 2020.  Apparently, the discussions did not continue past their initial phase, but they were serious enough that some of the possible terms were put in writing.

Why This Matters:  The handwriting is on the wall, and it is not hard to read.

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ExxonMobil Makes New Carbon Reduction Commitment That Experts Call “Underwhelming”

ExxonMobil Makes New Carbon Reduction Commitment That Experts Call “Underwhelming”

With investors who hold hundreds of millions in ExxonMobil stock pressuring it to improve its performance on climate change and invest more in clean energy, the Company announced a new five-year plan today. According to Axios, experts said it’s not clear how much actual emissions might fall under the new plan.

Why This Matters:  Weak sauce from a weak company.  The ExxonMobil plan consists of only a few half measures — it falls far short of the industry standard set by ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum, BP, and Shell, which have all pledged to have “net zero” emissions in the 2050 time frame. 

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ExxonMobil Suffers Huge Losses, Job Cuts

ExxonMobil Suffers Huge Losses, Job Cuts

ExxonMobil ended its third quarter with a net loss of $680 million, compared to a $3.2 billion profit at the same time last year. The loss may prove to be the industry’s largest write-down in over a decade.

Why This Matters: It is hard to fathom how far the oil giant has fallen — and how fast.  ExxonMobil in 2013 was the largest company in the world, but it failed to modernize like its competitors.

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JPMorgan Announces It Will Remove Former Exxon CEO As the Bank’s Lead Director

JPMorgan Announces It Will Remove Former Exxon CEO As the Bank’s Lead Director

In its most recent public corporate filings, JPMorgan Chase stated that it would be appointing a new lead independent director by the end of the summer of 2020, removing the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, Lee Raymond, after progressives and climate advocates publicly campaigned for his removal. 

Why This Matters:  Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org wrote a high profile op/ed in the New York Times ten days ago arguing that the company was stuck in the past on climate change, and urging JP Morgan shareholders to vote Raymond out, as did New York City’s pension fund.

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