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Rex Wayne Tillerson (born March 23, 1952) is an American engineer, businessman, current chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation, the fifth largest company by market capitalization, and former National President of the Boy Scouts of America (2010-2012).
On December 13, 2016, president-elect Donald Trump announced that Tillerson would be his nominee for Secretary of State.Contents
Tillerson was born on March 23, 1952, in Wichita Falls, Texas, the son of Patty Sue (née Patton) and Bobby Joe Tillerson. Active in the Boy Scouts of America for most of his life, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1965.
In 1970, he graduated from Huntsville High School in Huntsville, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975. During his time at UT Austin, he was involved with the Tejas Club, the Longhorn Band, and Alpha Phi Omega. In 2006, he was named a Distinguished Engineering Graduate.Business career Exxon
Tillerson joined The Exxon Company in 1975 as a production engineer. 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.
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.
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 Exxon Mobil to invest more in alternative energy "“Exxon Mobil needs to reconnect with the forward-looking and entrepreneurial vision of my great-grandfather,” said Neva Rockefeller Goodwin. However, the resolution did not obtain the necessary majority and Tillerson held on to both the chairman and chief executive officer job titles.Role in Exxon's acquisition of XTO Energy
In 2009, Exxon Mobil 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."Ties with Russia Tillerson with Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, at the Kremlin, 2012
Tillerson has ties with Vladimir Putin; the two men have been associates since Tillerson represented Exxon’s interests in Russia during Boris Yeltsin's premiership. John Hamre, the president and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (for 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 Henry Kissinger."
Tillerson is a friend of Igor Sechin, the leader of the Kremlin's siloviki faction, who is "widely believed to be Russia's second-most powerful person" after President Putin.
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. Although the company began drilling in the Kara Sea in summer 2014, sanctions against Russia during the Ukrainian crisis brought the project to a halt in September of that year.
In 2013, Tillerson was awarded the Order of Friendship by Putin.Ties with Kurdistan
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.Compensation
In 2012, Tillerson's compensation package was $40.5 million. It was $28.1 million in 2013, $33.1 million in 2014, and $27.2 million in 2015.Other affiliations
Tillerson is also a trustee for the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the American Petroleum Institute, and is a member of the Business Roundtable.
He was a member of the executive committee of The Business Council for 2011 and 2012.
Tillerson is a longtime volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America, and from 2010 to 2012 was the BSA's national president, its highest non-executive position. After he stepped down 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 homosexual youth. 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."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."Climate change and carbon taxing
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."
Tillerson also stated "The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not."
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."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.”Free Trade (Global Energy)
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.Rex Tillerson Speaking at IHS Energy Week 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."Education
In September 2013, Tillerson wrote an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal defending Common Core.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.
He has contributed to the political campaigns of George W. Bush, as well as Mitt Romney in 2012, and Mitch McConnell. He did not donate to Donald Trump's campaign. He donated to Jeb Bush's campaign during the 2016 Republican primaries.Center for Strategic and International Studies
Tillerson serves on the board of trustees of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.Secretary of State consideration
Rex Tillerson was first recommended to Trump for the Secretary of State role by Condoleezza Rice, during her meeting with Trump in late November. Rice's recommendation of Tillerson to Trump was backed up by Robert Gates, three days later. Media speculation that he was being considered for the position began on December 5, 2016.
On December 9, transition officials reported that Tillerson was the top candidate for the position surpassing Mitt Romney and David Petraeus. His nomination was reportedly being advocated by Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.
On the evening of December 10, the BBC cited NBC reports that "sources close to Mr Trump ... saying that Mr Tillerson is likely to be named next week" and that former UN ambassador John Bolton "will serve as his deputy". On December 12, The New York Times reported that he had been chosen.Personal life
Tillerson is married to Renda St. Clair, and they have four children. He resides in Irving, Texas.
Tillerson is a Christian. He and his wife donated $5,000–$10,000 to the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches in 2012.
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. The Tillersons dropped out of the lawsuit after a judge dismissed their claim in November 2014.References