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WASHINGTON--A House committee has asked Exxon Mobil Corp., for detailed information about a lucrative retirement package given to its former chairman, Lee Raymond, calling it an "exorbitant payout" when motorists are paying $3 a gallon for gasoline, reported the Associated Press.
Raymond, who recently retired, was given a total package of nearly $400 million including salary, bonus, stock options and a one-year $1 million consulting arrangement.
The request was made as the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to the country's five biggest oil companies, including Exxon Mobil, seeking detailed information about the companies' spending and investment priorities in light of huge profits over the past year as crude prices jumped to a recent high of more than $75 a barrel, reported AP.
In addition to Exxon Mobil, letters went to ConocoPhillips Inc., Chevron Corp., BP America, Inc. and Shell Oil Co.
Exxon Mobil spokesmen Russ Roberts told AP the criticism of the Raymond retirement package is "a distraction" when the discussion "should be focused on the fundamentals of why we have the high prices." He said in the report the compensation package was approved by an independent board of directors without management input.