BlackRock says voted to split CEO, chairman roles at Exxon Mobil

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Top fund manager BlackRock Inc on Wednesday said it cast an advisory vote in favor of an independent chairman and against the reelection of two directors at Exxon Mobil Corp over the company's approach to climate risks. Exxon shareholders on Wednesday rejected all four shareholder resolutions with none getting more than 38% of the votes cast. The independent chairman proposal fell with 32.7% in favor of an appointment when the next chief executive is named.

Reuters May 28, 2020 02:05:40 IST
BlackRock says voted to split CEO, chairman roles at Exxon Mobil

BlackRock says voted to split CEO chairman roles at Exxon Mobil

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Top fund manager BlackRock Inc on Wednesday said it cast an advisory vote in favor of an independent chairman and against the reelection of two directors at Exxon Mobil Corp over the company's approach to climate risks.

Exxon shareholders on Wednesday rejected all four shareholder resolutions with none getting more than 38% of the votes cast. The independent chairman proposal fell with 32.7% in favor of an appointment when the next chief executive is named.

BlackRock, which this year joined the Climate 100+ investor group seeking greenhouse gas emissions curbs, said the current board lacked independent leadership and showed no "sense of urgency" with regard to climate-related risks.

"Exxon may benefit from the additional of an individual with more direct industry experience on the board," the investor said. BlackRock is the second largest institutional owner of Exxon with about 6.7% of Exxon shares outstanding.

It voted against Exxon directors Angela Braly, the former CEO of health insurer WellPoint, and Kenneth Frasier, the CEO of pharmaceutical maker Merck & Co, over the Exxon's "insufficient progress" on climate related financial disclosures and related action, BlackRock said. Both directors were reelected.

"We continue to see a gap in the company's disclosure and action with regard to several components of its climate risk management," BlackRock wrote of its votes.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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