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DALLAS -- Calls by a select minority of ExxonMobil shareholders to separate Rex Tillerson's dual titles of chief executive and chairman were quieted today after a shareholders vote defeated the proposal.
In total, 17 measures were included in the proposal that was spearheaded by some of the company's most influential stakeholders, including members of the Rockefeller family, although they represent less than one percent of all shareholders. The underlying message underscored the need for the U.S.'s largest oil company to become more competitive in alternative fuels.
Peter O'Neill, great-great grandson of company founder, John D. Rockefeller and Neva Rockefeller Goodwin said in a released statement that they were pleased to have played a role in sending a wake-up called to ExxonMobil's management and board.
"Our goal from the outset of this effort was to get shareholders more engaged with ExxonMobil management and vice versa," O'Neill and Neva Rockefeller Goodwin said in the released statement. "In view of the unprecedented outreach effort mounted by ExxonMobil to solicit votes from institutional and retail investors, we have succeeded in doing that in a way that appears to herald the long-overdue beginning of two-way communications between our company and its owners."
O'Neil and Goodwin said the intention of the proposal was not to condemn Tillerson, 56, who was appointed to the dual position in 2006. During his brief tenure, ExxonMobil market value has risen 66 percent with a current value of $479 billion.
"A majority of our family believe that he is doing an outstanding job as CEO. Nevertheless, we continue to believe that our proposal is needed to enable the chairman and the board of ExxonMobil to objectively analyze the company's long-term challenges and opportunities and to look deeply into its strategic direction," the statement read.
After the shareholder meeting, Tillerson said the company is growing at record levels and is well positioned in the marketplace to meet growing global demand, reported the Dallas Business Journal. Tillerson told the paper that the company has an "outstanding year" and it achieved those results by "delivering industry-leading safety performance, excellence in operations and environmental protection, strong governance and disciplined investment performance."