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NEW YORK -- ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson is receiving pressure to step down from his board position from a consortium of 60 American institutional investors who are backing the Rockefeller family's campaign to bring in fresh approach to the company that their ancestor, John Rockefeller, founded.
While it remains the nation's most profitable company, the Rockefeller family and its supporters believe the time has come to rely less on oil exploration and more on renewable technologies.
Calls from CSNews Online to ExxonMobil were not returned by presstime.
Ceres, a network of institutional investors that includes the teachers' pension funds for the states of New York and California, is considering joining the chorus calling for a change of the guard. And with $5,000 billion in managed assets, its voice is loud.
Joining the bandwagon this week was the Universities Superannuation Scheme and Railpen Investments, Britain's third- and seventh-largest pension funds, respectively. Together they join F&C and Morley in calling for a new independent chairman at Exxon.
Director of Governance and sustainable investment at F&C, Karina Litvack, told the United Kingdom's Times Online, "Despite top-notch individual directors, the company's record over the last decade, particularly regarding climate change, demonstrates that debate
has been lacking. By bringing in an independent chairman, the company can better leverage that creativity ... and avoid over-dominance by management."
Next week, the proposal for a new independent chairman will be voted on at Exxon's
annual shareholder meeting. Analysts told the Times Online that the outcome is too close to call.