Page semi-protected

Rex Tillerson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson official Transition portrait.jpg
33rd President of the Boy Scouts of America
In office
Preceded by John Gottschalk
Succeeded by Wayne Perry
Personal details
Born Rex Wayne Tillerson
(1952-03-23) March 23, 1952 (age 64)
Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Renda St. Clair
Alma mater University of Texas, Austin (BS)
Salary $27.2 million (2015)[1]
Net worth $245 million (2016)
Awards Orden of Friendship.png Russian Order of

Rex Wayne Tillerson (born March 23, 1952) is an American businessman. He was the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of ExxonMobil from 2006 to 2016.

Tillerson began his career as an engineer and holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tillerson joined Exxon in 1975, and by 1989 had become general manager of the Exxon USA central production division. In 1995 he became president of Exxon Yemen Inc. and Esso Exploration and Production Khorat Inc. In 2006, Tillerson was elected chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon, the world's 6th largest company by revenue.[2][3] Tillerson retired from Exxon effective December 31, 2016, and was succeeded by Darren Woods.[4] He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.[5]

On December 13, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced that Tillerson would be his nominee for Secretary of State.[6][7] He is a longtime contributor to Republican campaigns. Tillerson's close business ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin have generated controversy, particularly in light of the revelations about Putin's business dealings in the Panama papers. In 2014 Tillerson strongly opposed the sanctions against Russia.[8] He has previously been the director of the joint US-Russian oil company Exxon Neftegas.[9][10] In January 2017, it was revealed that while Tillerson was a senior executive at ExxonMobil, a European joint venture called Infineum conducted business with Iran, Syria, and Sudan when those states were under US sanctions.[11]

Early life and education

Tillerson was born on March 23, 1952, in Wichita Falls, Texas, the son of Patty Sue (née Patton) and Bobby Joe Tillerson.[12] Active in the Boy Scouts of America for most of his life, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout[13] in 1965.

Tillerson received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975.[14] During his time at UT Austin, he was involved with the Tejas Club,[15] the Longhorn Band,[15] and Alpha Phi Omega.[16] In 2006 he was named a Distinguished Engineering Graduate.[14]

Business career


Tillerson joined The Exxon Company in 1975 as a production engineer.[17] In 1989, Tillerson became general manager of the central production division of Exxon USA. In 1995, he became President of Exxon Yemen Inc. and Esso Exploration and Production Khorat Inc.[17]

In 1998, he became a vice president of Exxon Ventures (CIS) and president of Exxon Neftegas Limited with responsibility for Exxon's holdings in Russia and the Caspian Sea. In 1999, with the merger of Exxon and Mobil, he was named executive vice president of ExxonMobil Development Company. In 2004, he became president and director of ExxonMobil. On January 1, 2006, Tillerson was elected chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), following the retirement of Lee Raymond.[17]

Tillerson re-established his position of chairman and chief executive officer during a shareholder meeting on May 28, 2008. The Rockefeller family sponsored a non-binding resolution to separate the CEO and chairman positions to maintain a system of checks and balances. The Rockefeller family also wanted ExxonMobil to invest more in alternative energy, with Neva Goodwin saying in a public statement that the company "needs to reconnect with the forward-looking and entrepreneurial vision of my great-grandfather."[18] However, the resolution did not obtain the necessary majority and Tillerson held on to both the chairman and chief executive officer job titles.[19]

In 2009, ExxonMobil acquired XTO Energy, a major natural gas producer, for $31 billion in stock. Some writers have stated that "Tillerson's legacy rides on the XTO Deal."[20]

Ties with Russia

Tillerson with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, at the Kremlin, 2012

Tillerson has ties with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.[9] They have been associates since Tillerson represented Exxon's interests in Russia during President Boris Yeltsin's tenure.[21] John Hamre, the President and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, of which Tillerson is a board member, states that Tillerson "has had more interactive time with Vladimir Putin than probably any other American, with the exception of Dr. Henry Kissinger."[21]

Tillerson is a friend of Igor Sechin,[22] the leader of the Kremlin's Siloviki (security/military) faction,[23] who has been described as "Russia's second-most powerful person" after President Putin.[24]

In 2011, on behalf of ExxonMobil, Tillerson signed an agreement with Russia for drilling in the Arctic that could be valued up to $300 billion.[25] The company began drilling in the Kara Sea in the Summer of 2014, and a round of sanctions against Russia introduced in September that year due to the Ukrainian crisis was to have brought the project to a halt in mid-September.[26][27][28] Nevertheless, the company was granted a reprieve that stretched the window to work until October 10, which enabled it to discover a major field with about 750 million barrels of new oil for Russia.[29]

In 2013, Tillerson was awarded the Order of Friendship by President Putin for contribution to developing cooperation in the energy sector.[30]

As of January 2017, Tillerson personally owns stock in the Russian, internet-technology company Yandex,[31] estimated to be at most $15,000 in value.[32]

Ties in Middle East

From 2003 to 2005, a European subsidiary of ExxonMobil, Infineum, operated in the Middle East providing sales to Iran, Sudan and Syria. In that period, Infineum made sales of $53.2 million in Iran, $600,000 in Sudan and $1.1 million in Syria respectively. ExxonMobil stated that they followed all legal framework and that such sales were minuscule compared to their annual revenue of $371 billion at the time. Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, a member of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, commented on the topic stating that he felt "deeply skeptical about Mr. Tillerson’s actions as CEO of Exxon that were in direct contravention to express United States policies put in place to secure Americans and our country" and that "[f]inding loopholes to make lucrative business deals with geo-political adversaries, while showing no clear regard for U.S. national interests, is not a resume builder for a prospective diplomat-in-chief".[33]

In 2011, Tillerson, on behalf of ExxonMobil, signed a deal to develop oil fields in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. The agreement was in defiance of Iraqi law, which forbids companies from dealing directly with Iraqi Kurdistan.[34]


In 2012, Tillerson's compensation package was $40.5 million.[35] It was $28.1 million in 2013, $33.1 million in 2014, and $27.2 million in 2015.[1] Tillerson holds $245 million of Exxon stock.[36]

On 3 January 2017, ExxonMobil announced they had reached an agreement with Tillerson "to sever all ties with the company to comply with conflict-of-interest requirements associated with his nomination as secretary of state."[37]

Other affiliations

Tillerson is also a trustee for the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the American Petroleum Institute. He is also a member of the Business Roundtable.[17]

He was a member of the executive committee of The Business Council for 2011 and 2012.[38]

Tillerson is a longtime volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America, and from 2010 to 2012 was their national president, its highest non-executive position.[39][40] Tillerson is an Distinguished Eagle Scout, and his father was a BSA executive. Tillerson is a long time supporter of the Boy Scouts of America and has said, "I think the highlight of my youth and adolescent years were my achievements in Scouting." In 2009, Tillerson was inducted into the Eagle Scout Hall of Fame of the Greater New York Councils.[41] Ray L. Hunt, a close friend and the Chairman of Hunt Consolidated, told the Dallas Morning News, "To understand Rex Tillerson, you need to understand Scouting."[42]

After the end of his term as as BSA president, he remained on the organization's National Executive Board. There he played a significant role in the board's 2013 decision to rescind the long-standing ban on openly gay youth as members. According to Center for Strategic and International Studies president John Hamre, Tillerson was instrumental in the change and "a key leader in helping the group come to a consensus."[40][43]

Political involvement

Political views

Opposition to sanctions

Tillerson has stated that "We do not support sanctions, generally, because we don't find them to be effective unless they are very well implemented comprehensively and that's a very hard thing to do."[44]

Climate change and carbon tax

In 2010, Tillerson said that while he acknowledged that humans were affecting the climate through greenhouse gas emissions to some degree, it was not yet clear "to what extent and therefore what can you do about it."[45][46]

Tillerson also stated, "The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not."[47]

Tillerson stated in 2009 that he favors a carbon tax as "the most efficient means of reflecting the cost of carbon in all economic decisions—from investments made by companies to fuel their requirements to the product choices made by consumers."[48] In October 2016, less than two months before his nomination as Secretary of State, he gave a speech in which he reaffirmed that ExxonMobil had long viewed a carbon tax to be “the best policy of those being considered. Replacing the hodge-podge of current, largely ineffective regulations with a revenue-neutral carbon tax would ensure a uniform and predictable cost of carbon across the economy . . . allow market forces to drive solutions . . . maximize transparency, reduce administrative complexity, promote global participation and easily adjust” to new knowledge in climate science and in the policy consequences of various courses of action.[49]

An article in The New York Times published after Tillerson's Secretary of State nomination suggested that ExxonMobil's embrace of a carbon tax in October 2009 may have simply been an effort to avoid cap and trade legislation that was then under consideration in the U.S. Congress.[50] A Time magazine article asserts that since Tillerson announced ExxonMobil's preference for a carbon tax, the giant oil company "has not made a carbon tax a focus of its massive lobbying efforts and has supported a number of candidates and organizations that oppose measures to tackle the [climate change] issue."[51]

Support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

In 2013, Tillerson outlined his support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), stating at the Global Security Forum: "One of the most promising developments on this front is the ongoing effort for the Trans-Pacific Partnership... The 11 nations that have been working to lower trade barriers and end protectionist policies under this partnership are a diverse mix of developed and developing economies. But all of them understand the value of open markets to growth and progress for every nation.”[52]

Free trade

Speaking in March 2007 at a Council on Foreign Relations event, Tillerson said

Should the United States seek so-called energy independence in an elusive effort to insulate this country from the impact of world events on the economy, or should Americans pursue the path of international engagement, seeking ways to better compete within the global market for energy? Like the Council's founders, I believe we must choose the course of greater international engagement ... The central reality is this: The global free market for energy provides the most effective means of achieving U.S. energy security by promoting resource development, enabling diversification, multiplying our supply channels, encouraging efficiency, and spurring innovation.[53]

Rex Tillerson speaking at IHS Energy Week (January 2015)

Government regulation

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Tillerson expressed his impatience with government regulation, stating "there are a thousand ways you can be told 'no' in this country."[54]


In September 2013, Tillerson wrote an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal defending Common Core.[55]

Republican campaign fundraising and donations

Tillerson is a longtime contributor to Republican campaigns. According to the FEC records available online, he has given $442,284.50 in direct contributions since 2003, $72,200 in "joint fundraising contributions" and $5000 to a Super PAC. FEC records do not show any contributions by Tillerson to Democrats during this period.[56]

He has contributed to the political campaigns of George W. Bush,[57] as well as Mitt Romney in 2012, and Mitch McConnell.[58] He did not donate to Donald Trump's campaign.[57] He donated to Jeb Bush's campaign during the 2016 Republican primaries.[57][59]

Center for Strategic and International Studies

Tillerson serves on the board of trustees of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.[60]

Secretary of State

Tillerson at his confirmation hearing on January 11, 2017

Tillerson was first recommended to Trump for the Secretary of State role by Condoleezza Rice, during her meeting with Trump in late November.[61] Rice's recommendation of Tillerson to Trump was backed up by Robert Gates, three days later.[61] Media speculation that he was being considered for the position began on December 5, 2016.[62] On December 9, transition officials reported that Tillerson was the top candidate for the position surpassing Mitt Romney and David Petraeus.[63] His nomination was reportedly advocated by Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.[64]

On the evening of December 10, the BBC cited NBC reports that "sources close to Mr Trump [were] ... saying that Mr Tillerson is likely to be named next week" and that former UN ambassador John Bolton "will serve as his deputy".[65] On December 12, The New York Times reported that he had been chosen.[6] On December 13, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced that Tillerson would be his nominee for Secretary of State.[6][66]

Personal life

Tillerson is married to Renda St. Clair, and they have four children.[13][67] He resides in Irving, Texas.[13]


Tillerson is a Congregationalist who holds a membership in the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, a mainline Reformed denomination.[68][69][page needed] He and his wife donated $5,000–$10,000 to their church in 2012.[70]


On February 20, 2014, news outlets reported that Tillerson and his wife joined opponents of a proposed water tower that could lead to fracking-related traffic near their homes. Plaintiffs included former U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Dick Armey and his wife.[71][72] The Tillersons dropped out of the lawsuit after a judge dismissed their claim in November 2014.[73]


  1. ^ a b "Profits are down at ExxonMobil, but don't cry for CEO Rex Tillerson". The Washington Post. April 29, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  2. ^ "ExxonMobil Biography of Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and CEO". ExxonMobil Corporation. December 13, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  3. ^ Schaefer, Steve (May 25, 2016). "The World's Largest Companies 2016". Forbes. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Rex Tillerson to Retire, Darren Woods Elected Chairman, CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation". ExxonMobil Corporation. December 14, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Learn about ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex W. Tillerson". ExxonMobil. 
  6. ^ a b c MICHAEL D. SHEAR and MAGGIE HABERMAN (December 12, 2016), "Trump Picks Rex Tillerson, Exxon C.E.O., as Secretary of State", The New York Times 
  7. ^ Pace, Julie; Lucey, Catherine (December 13, 2016). "Donald Trump Picks Exxon Mobil's Rex Tillerson to Lead State Department". Time. Associated Press. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ a b Scheck, Justin; Marson, James; Gold, Russell (December 13, 2015). "Deals With Putin Helped Fuel Rise of Tillerson at ExxonMobil". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  10. ^ Harding, Luke; Munzinger, Hannes (December 18, 2016). "Leak reveals Rex Tillerson was director of Bahamas-based US-Russian oil firm" – via The Guardian. 
  11. ^ "ExxonMobil and Iran did business under Secretary of State nominee Tillerson". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  12. ^ "Texas Birth Index, 1903–1997". " FamilySearch Database. December 5, 2014. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c Kirdahy, Matthew (September 4, 2007). "Teaching Leadership: Scouts Honor". Forbes. Retrieved September 5, 2007. 
  14. ^ a b "2006 Distinguished Engineering Graduate: Rex W. Tillerson, B.S.C.E. 1975, Chairman and CEO, ExxonMobil Corporation". Cockrell School of Engineering, University of Texas. 
  15. ^ a b Barnhill, Ted. "Distinguishing Features: The Distinguished Alumni of 2007". The Alcalde. Texas Exes. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Torch Talk" (PDF). Torch & Trefoil. Alpha Phi Omega. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c d "ExxonMobil: Rex Tillerson". ExxonMobil. 
  18. ^ Krauss, Clifford (May 27, 2008). "Rockefellers Seek Change at Exxon". The New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  19. ^ Krauss, Clifford (May 29, 2008). "Exxon Rejects Proposals Backed by Rockefellers". The New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  20. ^ Corkery, Michael (December 14, 2009). "King Rex Tillerson's Legacy Rides on the XTO Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  21. ^ a b Bradley Olson, Rex Tillerson, a Candidate for Secretary of State, Has Ties to Vladimir Putin, The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2016.
  22. ^ Ioffe, Julia (December 10, 2016). "What It Really Means to Be a 'Friend of Putin'". Politico Magazine. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  23. ^ Hahn, Gordon (July 21, 2008). "The Siloviki Downgraded. In Russia's New Configuration of Power". Archived from the original on December 31, 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  24. ^ Peleschuk, Dan. "Think it's just Putin who runs Russia? Guess again". CNBC. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  25. ^ Trefgarne, George (August 31, 2011). "Vladimir Putin plays for high stakes in the oil game". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on October 24, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2016. 
  26. ^ Musa, Anthony. "With Tillerson pick, oil profits would Trump geopolitics". Russia Direct. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  27. ^ Reed, Stanley & Clifford Krauss (September 12, 2014). "New Sanctions to Stall Exxon’s Arctic Oil Plans", The New York Times. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  28. ^ Williams, Cara (September 19, 2014)"ExxonMobil said to halt drilling in $700-million project in Russia", Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  29. ^ "Rex Tillerson's Company, Exxon, Has Billions at Stake Over Sanctions on Russia". The New York Times. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Meeting with energy company heads". Kremlin. June 21, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Rex Tillerson to divest from Russia’s largest search engine, resign board positions" by Alex Daugherty, The McClatchy Company, 10 January 2017
  32. ^ "Rex Tillerson's Assets Include Investments in China, Russia", NBC Chicago, 10 January 2017
  33. ^ Dorell, Oren (9 January 2017). "ExxonMobil and Iran did business under secretary of State nominee Tillerson". USA TODAY. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  34. ^ "ExxonMobil is accused of flighty bets, but look at these numbers and judge for yourself". Quartz. April 9, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Jamie Dimon's Big Pay Raise – and the Minimum Wage". The Huffington Post. February 4, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  36. ^ Neate, Rupert (December 17, 2016). "Donald Trump faces Senate backlash over 'cabinet of billionaires'" – via The Guardian. 
  37. ^ 3. January 2017: ExxonMobil, Tillerson Reach Agreement to Comply with Conflict of Interest Requirements
  38. ^ "The Business Council : Executive Committee 2015–2016". Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  39. ^ "CEO of Exxon Mobil Named National Boy Scouts of America President". Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  40. ^ a b James, Osbourne (September 1, 2014). "Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson an Eagle Scout to the core". Dallas News. 
  41. ^ Boy Scouts of America (October 28, 2009). "Boy Scouts Inducts Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, Into Eagle Scout Hall of Fame" (Press release). Boy Scouts of America. 
  42. ^ James Osborne (September 2014). "Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson an Eagle Scout to the core". Dallas Morning News. 
  43. ^ Krauss, Clifford (December 11, 2016). "Rex Tillerson, an Aggressive Dealmaker Whose Ties With Russia May Prompt Scrutiny". The New York Times. 
  44. ^ "How Exxon CEO Tillerson feels about sanctions (and other Secretary-related matters)". Biz Journals. December 6, 2016. 
  45. ^ "THE EXXONMOBIL-XTO MERGER: IMPACT ON U.S. ENERGY MARKETS" (PDF). Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  46. ^ Schwartz, John (August 19, 2016). "Exxon Mobil Fraud Inquiry Said to Focus More on Future Than Past". The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2016. 
  47. ^ Schlanger, Zoe (May 26, 2016). "Is Exxon Waiting for the Paris Climate Agreement to Fail?". Newsweek. 
  48. ^ "ExxonMobil and the carbon tax". December 2, 2015. 
  49. ^ Tillerson, Rex (October 19, 2016). The Path Forward in Today’s Energy Environment (Speech). 37th Annual Oil and Money Conference. London, England. Retrieved December 23, 2016. 
  50. ^ Schwartz, John (December 28, 2016). "Tillerson Led Exxon's Shift on Climate Change; Some Say 'It Was All P.R.'". The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2016. 
  51. ^ Worland, Justin (December 14, 2016). "What Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State Would Mean for Climate Change". Time. Retrieved December 30, 2016. 
  52. ^ Trump’s Secretary of State Favorite Rex Tillerson Praised TPP BETSY WOODRUFF, 12.12.16, The Daily Beast
  53. ^ Denning, Liam (December 7, 2016). "Mr. Exxon Goes to Washington (Maybe)". Bloomberg L.P. 
  54. ^ Coll, Steve (April 9, 2012). "Gusher: The Power of ExxonMobil". The New Yorker. 
  55. ^ Tillerson, Rex (September 5, 2013). "How to Stop the Drop in American Education". The Wall Street Journal. 
  56. ^ [2][dead link]
  57. ^ a b c Mitchell, Andrea. "Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil Expected to Be Named Trump's Secretary of State: Sources". NBC News. Retrieved December 10, 2016. 
  58. ^ "Where CEO political dollars go – Rex Tillerson (2)". Fortune. Retrieved December 10, 2016. 
  59. ^ Lavelle, Marianne (July 22, 2016). "Fossil Fuel Money Still a Dry Well for Trump Campaign". InsideClimate News. Retrieved December 10, 2016. 
  60. ^ "Rex W. Tillerson – Center for Strategic and International Studies". Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  61. ^ a b ExxonMobil CEO Tillerson emerging as frontrunner for secretary of state By Henry C. Jackson, Josh Dawsey and Eliana Johnson, Politico, 12/09/16
  62. ^ "Exxon CEO Now a Contender for Donald Trump's Secretary of State". The Wall Street Journal. December 5, 2016. 
  63. ^ "Exxon's Rex Tillerson Is Top Candidate for Secretary of State". The Wall Street Journal. December 9, 2016. 
  64. ^ Sanger, David E., Maggie Haberman & Clifford Krauss, "Rex Tillerson, Exxon Chief, Is Expected to Be Pick for Secretary of State", The New York Times, December 10, 2016.
  65. ^ "Trump presidency: Exxon's Rex Tillerson for top diplomat?", BBC, December 10, 2016.
  66. ^ Pace, Julie; Lucey, Catherine (December 13, 2016). "Donald Trump Picks Exxon Mobil's Rex Tillerson to Lead State Department". Time. Associated Press. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  67. ^ Cordon, Matthew C. "Rex W. Tillerson biography". Encyclopedia of Business, 2nd ed. Advameg. Retrieved January 23, 2012. 
  68. ^
  69. ^ Coll, Steve (2012). Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power. Penguin – via Google Books. 
  70. ^ Profile,, September 2013, page 7.
  71. ^ "Exxon Mobil CEO welcomes fracking, but not water tower in his backyard". Reuters. February 26, 2014. 
  72. ^ "Exxon CEO Joins Suit Citing Fracking Concerns". The Wall Street Journal. 
  73. ^ "Rex Tillerson drops out of water tower lawsuit in Bartonville". The Business Journals. April 21, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 

Further reading

External links

Business positions
Preceded by
Lee Raymond
Chief Executive Officer of ExxonMobil
Succeeded by
Darren Woods
Boy Scouts of America
Preceded by
John Gottschalk
President of the Boy Scouts of America
Succeeded by
Wayne Perry