Engine No. 1 gets at least 2 candidates elected to Exxon’s board, in win for the activist

A see of the Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, Texas.

Jessica Rinaldi | Reuters

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Activist firm Engine No. 1 has won now now not lower than two board seats at Exxon following a historical wrestle over the oil broad’s board of directors. The vote over a Third candidate proposed by Engine No. 1 was once too shut to call as of 1: 15 p.m. on Wall Street.

Wednesday’s vote came for the interval of Exxon’s annual shareholder assembly, the attach CEO Darren Woods fielded questions from shareholders ranging from the firm’s dividend to Exxon’s investments in carbon carry technology.

The assembly took space in two parts, with a roughly one-hour recess between the two attributable to a series of votes silent being cast.

Earlier than Wednesday’s assembly activist firm Engine No. 1 nominated four self reliant director candidates. The neighborhood, which has a 0.02% stake in Exxon, has been focused on the oil broad since December, pushing Exxon to re-evaluate its function in a zero-carbon world.

Engine No. 1 won give a enhance to from gargantuan pension funds, including CalPERS, calSTRS and New York Impart Long-established Retirement Fund.

On Monday, Exxon talked about in a submitting that over the subsequent 12 months it will in all probability perchance perchance well explore to add two new directors, “one with energy swap abilities and one with native climate abilities.”

But Engine No. 1 talked about the modifications didn’t slither a long way adequate. “What the Board wants are directors with abilities in successful and helpful energy swap transformations who can abet flip aspirations of addressing the dangers of native climate swap correct into a long-term industry notion, now now not talking factors,” the firm talked about in an announcement Monday.

For its fraction, Exxon’s management has emphasized the steps it is taking towards a decrease-carbon future, including allocating $3 billion for overview around carbon carry and other emissions-cutting technologies.

In March the oil broad added two new directors to its board, including ESG investor Jeff Ubben, founding father of Inclusive Capital Partners. Ubben previously headed activist firm ValueAct, which he launched in 2000.

The wrestle over Exxon’s board comes because the firm’s stock has recovered from its pandemic lows. Shares are up bigger than 40% for 2021, and bask in won 26% over the closing year amid a recovery in oil costs and aggressive rate-cutting suggestions from the firm. Silent, the stock has been within the bargain of shut to in half since its all-time excessive above $100 in Jan. 2014, and closing year the firm was once removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Common after shut to a century within the index.

Exxon swung to a profit for the interval of the first quarter of 2021 after four straight quarters of losses because the pandemic wreaked havoc on the oil and gas swap.

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