Unhappy shareholder to challenge ExxonMobil for board seats
– Very concerned about company carbon emissions
Yesterday Kaieteur News – Engine No. One, a new investment firm, seeking to enhance long-term value through executive ownership, has formally nominated four highly qualified, independent director candidates with a diverse track record of success across the energy sector to ExxonMobil Corporation’s Board of Directors. This is expected to be heard at the ExxonMobil Shareholder Annual Meeting.
Engine One’s challenge for table seating is rooted in its dissatisfaction with ExxonMobil’s emissions output. According to Bloomberg, the oil giant’s annual emissions from its operations are set to increase from 122 million metric tons in 2017 to 143 million metric tons in 2025. The investment firm is also worried about the company’s decisions, which have leading to its deteriorating fiscal health. .
In a statement to industry stakeholders, Engine No. 1 stated, “Investors increasingly want to see companies focused on the long term and ExxonMobil is no exception. We believe the ExxonMobil Board needs new members who have proven success in locating energy companies for today as well as tomorrow, and who are sufficiently independent of the current Board to deliver a clean cut of strategy and thinking that has led to years of destruction value and in a bad position for the Company for the future. ”
Although ExxonMobil has recently taken incremental steps to improve its performance in the face of financial and shareholder pressures, Engine One said it firmly believed that a reactive short-term approach does not replace a proactive long-term strategy that addresses the threats and opportunities facing the company in a changing world. Taking this into account, among other factors mentioned earlier, the new investment company offers four independent nominees – all of whom believe, brings a differentiated skill set that makes them uniquely suited to help the Board to chart a new path that creates value, including improved long-term capital discipline, strategic planning, and management incentives.
The nominees offered by Engine One are Gregory J. Goff, Kaisa Hietala, Alexander Karsner, and Anders Runevad.
This newspaper understands that Goff has a reputation for success in the energy industry. He served as CEO of Andeavor (ANDV), a leading petroleum refining and marketing company formerly known as Tesoro, for eight years ending in 2018. He was named one of the “Best Performing CEOs in the World ”by Harvard Business Review in 2018.
With regard to Ms Hietala, Engine One was keen to point out that she was an experienced leader in strategic energy sector transformation who began her career in oil and gas exploration and crude oil trading. He played a pivotal role in transforming Neste into the world’s largest and most profitable diesel and jet fuel producer, named by Harvard Business Review as one of the “20 Best Business Transformations of the Last Decade” in 2019.
Mr. Karsner is also a skilled entrepreneur and policymaker in the energy industry with more than three decades of global conventional and renewable energy experience. According to Engine One, he began his career developing and financing large-scale energy infrastructure, and as a private equity investor, venture partner, and consultant, his portfolios have included some of the most successful clean technology startups of the past decade.
As for Mr Runevad, Kaieteur News understands that he is a successful business leader with global energy experience and was a signatory to the UN Paris Climate Agreement. He served as CEO of Vestas Wind Systems, a wind turbine manufacturing, installation and servicing company with more wind power installed worldwide than any other manufacturer, for six years ending in 2019, and is currently credit for turning around the company. He was featured in Fortune’s “Business of the Year” list in 2016 and was named one of the “World’s Best Performing Chief Executives” by Harvard Business Review in 2016, 2017, and 2019.
Since learning of Engine One’s intention to seize four Board seats, ExxonMobil responded yesterday stating that the nomination notice would be evaluated in accordance with the corporation’s bylaws.
ExxonMobil also said it will continue to update shareholders in the coming weeks on the company’s strategy to build sustainable, long-term value for shareholders. This newspaper understands that it will also provide updates on company performance and actions to tackle climate change, including initiatives to commercialize technologies, which are key to reducing emissions and achieving social goals which is consistent with the Paris Agreement.