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ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson under Rockefeller pressure to split roles


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Daily Telegraph

ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson under Rockefeller pressure to split roles

By James Quinn, Wall Street Correspondent

Last Updated: 1:33am BST 20/05/2008



Four British investors in ExxonMobil are combining to throw their weight behind the Rockefeller family and vote in favour of the separation of the roles of chief executive and chairman on the board of the American oil major.

F&C Asset Management, the Co-Operative Insurance Society, Morley Fund Management and the West Midlands Pension Fund have taken the unprecedented step of publicly confirming that they will back a special motion at the company’s annual meeting next week in Texas to split the roles of current incumbent Rex Tillerson.

The quartet, who have not revealed their individual shareholdings in ExxonMobil, have been joined in their support by British corporate governance specialist PIRC.

The campaign to divide the roles currently held by Mr Tillerson is being spear-headed by descendants of John D Rockefeller, who founded the oil business that remains at the core of ExxonMobil.

The Rockefeller family shareholders in Exxon, comprising around 100 descendants and corralled by Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, argue that ExxonMobil has largely ignored calls for a shift to green energy, and believe that it will be left behind as rivals such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell continue to invest in eco-power.

By separating the roles, the Rockefeller descendants believe a non-executive chairman could provide another point of view on the board, one that would not be all controlling as is the situation currently.

Karina Litvack, director of governance and sustainable investment at F&C Asset Management, said: “Despite top-notch individual directors, the company’s record over the last decade, particularly regarding climate change, demonstrates that debate has been lacking.” and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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