Activist Investor Wins Seats on ExxonMobil Board

10.06.2021 - Three independent executives nominated by US-based activist investor Engine No 1 have won seats on ExxonMobil’s board.

With just a 0.02% stake in ExxonMobil, Engine No 1, which only launched last December, wrote that same month to the board calling on the US multinational energy and chemical company to “better position itself for long-term sustainable value creation.” It said ExxonMobil had failed to evolve with the industry’s transition, resulting in significant underperformance, and had no credible strategy to create value in a decarbonizing world.

In January, the investment group nominated four candidates for election at ExxonMobil’s annual shareholder meeting, which took place on May 26. The three nominees elected are Alexander Karsner, senior strategist at X, the innovation lab of Google’s parent Alphabet; Gregory Goff, former CEO of US refinery Andeavor; and Kaisa Hietala, former executive vice president of renewable products at Finnish refiner Neste.

Engine No 1’s fourth nominee failed to win a seat.

Darren Woods, ExxonMobil’s chairman and CEO, commented: “We look forward to working with all of our directors to build on the progress we’ve made to grow long-term shareholder value and succeed in a lower-carbon future.

Last December, ExxonMobil announced plans for a 30% decrease in absolute greenhouse gas emissions in its upstream operations by 2025, along with a 40-50% reduction in absolute flaring and methane emissions.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist