Written by Miranda Marquit
Self-described "longest continuous shareholders" want serious changes at Exxon.
Photo:Pat Hawks, Creative Commons, Flickr
The Rockefeller family is concerned about the direction that Exxon (XOM) is headed. In addition to championing calls for Exxon to beef up its renewable energy policy, the family is also supporting a proposal that would require the company to split the top job at the company into two: chairman and chief executive. Right now, the chairman position and chief executive position are both held, in effect, as one position.
The family is offering four proposals concerning the leadership offered by the current chairman and chief executive, Rex Tillerson. STLtoday reports that the Rockefeller company believes that splitting the top position would allow Exxon to better face its challenges:
'They are fighting the last war and they're not seeing (that) they're facing a new war,' said Peter O'Neill, who heads the Rockefeller family committee dealing with Exxon Mobil and is the great-great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller. John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil was the parent of Exxon.
Although Rockefeller family members own significant portions of XOM, the top shareholders are actually institutional investors and mutual funds. So the family has been rather vocal about trying to influence others to cast their proxy votes in a way that would change the way Exxon has been doing things.
The Exxon shareholder meeting is May 28. For more on the proxy season, see the 2008 Proxy Voting Preview.
Disclosure: I do not own XOM.