SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Engine No. 1, a new investment firm that seeks to enhance long-term value through active ownership, today announced its intention to nominate four highly qualified, independent director candidates to the Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) (“ExxonMobil” or the “Company”) Board of Directors (the “Board”) in connection with the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (“CalSTRS”), the nation’s second largest pension fund and owner of over $300 million in value of the Company’s stock, today is announcing its support for Engine No. 1’s director candidates.
In a letter sent today to the Board, Engine No. 1 outlined the case for much-needed change at ExxonMobil and a proposed path forward to protect and enhance long-term value for the Company’s shareholders.
Engine No. 1’s plan to reenergize ExxonMobil includes:
- Refresh the Board with highly qualified, independent directors who have diverse track records of success in the energy sector and can help the Board, which has no independent directors with any outside energy experience, position ExxonMobil to successfully evolve with changing industry dynamics;
- Impose greater long-term capital allocation discipline by applying more stringent approval criteria for new capital expenditures, including lower required break-even oil and gas prices;
- Implement a strategic plan for sustainable value creation by fully exploring growth areas, including more significant investment in clean energy, to help the Company profitably diversify and ensure it can commit to emission reduction targets, all with the benefit of a Board better qualified to consider such opportunities; and
- Overhaul management compensation to better align incentives with shareholder value creation.
In its letter, Engine No. 1 stated, “We believe that for ExxonMobil to avoid the fate of other once-iconic American companies, it must better position itself for long-term, sustainable value creation. Doing so will not be easy and will require a board with a diversified level of insight into the evolving trends, technologies, markets, and policies shaping the future of the industry, yet none of ExxonMobil’s independent directors have any other energy industry experience. This is not a criticism of any director, each of whom is highly accomplished and respected, including by us. It is instead an acknowledgement of the unique challenges facing ExxonMobil and the industry.”
Christopher Ailman, Chief Investment Officer of CalSTRS, stated, “It is time to demand change at ExxonMobil. CalSTRS’ stewardship activities date back over 30 years and reflect our focus on influencing long-term value creation. We intend to use our vote as an active shareholder to support Engine No. 1’s slate of directors because a change at the top is necessary to reposition this Company to be successful for the long-term.”
Engine No. 1’s Director Candidates include:
- Gregory J. Goff – Mr. Goff has a long track record of success in the energy industry. Mr. Goff served as the CEO of Andeavor, a leading petroleum refining and marketing company formerly known as Tesoro, for eight years ending in 2018. During his tenure, Andeavor generated total returns of 1,224%, versus 55% for the U.S. energy sector. He was named one of the “Best-Performing CEOs in the World” by Harvard Business Review in 2018. Prior to Andeavor, he spent almost 30 years with ConocoPhillips in various leadership positions in Exploration and Production, Downstream, and Commercial operations.
- Kaisa Hietala – Ms. Hietala is an experienced leader in strategic transformation in the energy sector who began her career in upstream oil and gas exploration and crude oil trading. Ms. Hietala served as the EVP of Renewable Products at Neste, a petroleum refining and marketing company, for five years ending in 2019. During her tenure, the Renewable Products segment’s revenues grew by 1.6x and operating profits grew by 4x. She played a central role in the strategic transformation of Neste into the world’s largest and most profitable producer of renewable diesel and jet fuel, which was named by Harvard Business Review as one of the “Top 20 Business Transformations of the Last Decade” in 2019.
- Alexander Karsner – Mr. Karsner is a leading corporate innovation strategist and accomplished energy entrepreneur and policymaker with more than three decades of global conventional and renewable energy experience. He is Senior Strategist at X (formerly Google X), the innovation lab of Alphabet Inc. He began his career developing and financing large scale energy infrastructure. As a private equity investor, venture partner, and advisor, his portfolios have included some of the most successful cleantech startups of the past decade. He previously served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy, responsible for multi-billion dollar federal R&D programs. He is a Precourt Energy Scholar at Stanford University’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
- Anders Runevad – Mr. Runevad is a successful business leader with global energy experience. He served as the CEO of Vestas Wind Systems, a wind turbine manufacturing, installation, and servicing company with more installed wind power worldwide than any other manufacturer, for six years ending in 2019, and is credited with turning around the company. During his tenure, Vestas stock returned a total of 480%, significantly outperforming the global energy and industrials sectors. He was included in Fortune’s “Businessperson of the Year” list in 2016.
The full text of the letter is available here.
Additional information regarding Engine No. 1’s plan to reenergize ExxonMobil may be found at www.ReenergizeXOM.com.
About Engine No. 1
Engine No. 1 is an investment firm purpose-built to create long-term value by driving positive impact through active ownership. For more information, please visit: www.Engine1.com.
Engine No. 1 LLC, Engine No. 1 LP, Christopher James, Charles Penner (collectively, “Engine”), Gregory J. Goff, Kaisa Hietala, Alexander Karsner, and Anders Runevad (collectively and together with Engine, the “Participants”) intend to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) a definitive proxy statement and accompanying form of WHITE proxy to be used in connection with the solicitation of proxies from the shareholders of Exxon Mobil Corporation (the “Company”). All shareholders of the Company are advised to read the definitive proxy statement and other documents related to the solicitation of proxies by the Participants when they become available, as they will contain important information, including additional information related to the Participants. The definitive proxy statement and an accompanying WHITE proxy card will be furnished to some or all of the Company’s shareholders and will be, along with other relevant documents, available at no charge on the SEC website at http://www.sec.gov/.
Information about the Participants and a description of their direct or indirect interests by security holdings will be contained in a Schedule 14A filed by the Participants with the SEC. This document will be available free of charge from the source indicated above. For information about CalSTRS and its interests in the Company, the Participants refer stockholders to CalSTRS and its public filings on the SEC website at http://www.sec.gov.
This material does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities described herein in any state to any person. In addition, the discussions and opinions in this press release and the material contained herein are for general information only, and are not intended to provide investment advice. All statements contained in this press release that are not clearly historical in nature or that necessarily depend on future events are “forward-looking statements,” which are not guarantees of future performance or results, and the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect,” “potential,” “could,” “opportunity,” “estimate,” and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. The projected results and statements contained in this press release and the material contained herein that are not historical facts are based on current expectations, speak only as of the date of this press release and involve risks that may cause the actual results to be materially different. Certain information included in this material is based on data obtained from sources considered to be reliable. No representation is made with respect to the accuracy or completeness of such data, and any analyses provided to assist the recipient of this material in evaluating the matters described herein may be based on subjective assessments and assumptions and may use one among alternative methodologies that produce different results. Accordingly, any analyses should also not be viewed as factual and also should not be relied upon as an accurate prediction of future results. All figures are unaudited estimates and subject to revision without notice. Engine disclaims any obligation to update the information herein and reserves the right to change any of its opinions expressed herein at any time as it deems appropriate. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Engine has neither sought nor obtained the consent from any third party to use any statements or information contained herein that have been obtained or derived from statements made or published by such third parties. Except as otherwise expressly stated herein, any such statements or information should not be viewed as indicating the support of such third parties for the views expressed herein.