Darren Woods replaces Tillerson as Exxon CEO

Following news that ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson has been nominated by US President-elect Donald Trump to lead the US State Department, ExxonMobil has announced that Tillerson will step down and Darren Woods will succeed Tillerson in both positions, effective 1 January 2017.

Since January 2016, Woods has served as president of ExxonMobil and has been a member of the board of directors.

A Kansas native, Woods (pictured, right) joined Exxon Company International in 1992. During his career he held various senior domestic and international positions in ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Co., ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and Exxon Company International. He also served as manager of ExxonMobil investor relations.

In 2012, he was appointed president of ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Co. and a vice president of the corporation. In this role, Woods had primary responsibility for the company’s global refining, supply and transportation activities. In 2014, he was named a senior vice president of the corporation and became a member of its management committee.

Woods earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

With the retirement of Tillerson, the ExxonMobil board now is comprised of 12 directors, 11 of whom are non-employees.

Of Tillerson, Exxon's board of directors said: “He led the company with integrity and honor, ensuring that safety and environmental protection were at the forefront of everything we do, generating value for shareholders and highlighting the impressive accomplishments of the company’s diverse workforce throughout the world. We know that his service to the nation as secretary of state will be equally successful and distinguished.”

Exxon said that Tillerson was scheduled to retire in March 2017 when he reached 65, as this is the mandatory retirement age for his position. The date of retirement was moved up due to the requirements of the confirmation process for his nomination of Secretary  of State, according to Exxon.

Tillerson joined Exxon in 1975 as a production engineer. He held various senior roles in the corporation throughout his career spanning more than four decades, including executive vice president of ExxonMobil Development Co. He was named senior vice president of ExxonMobil in 2001 and was elected president and member of the board of directors in 2004. Tillerson was elected chairman and CEO in January 2006.

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