Business

Proxy advisor PIRC recommends activist nominees in Exxon boardroom battle

Proxy advisor PIRC recommends activist nominees in Exxon boardroom battle

Article content

Governance advisor Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) on Wednesday recommended Exxon Mobil shareholders vote in favor of four hedge fund nominees in a bitter proxy fight seeking to overhaul the oil giant’s board.

Exxon and activist hedge fund Engine No. 1 are battling over board seats and Exxon’s strategy to meet demands for lower-carbon energy. The fund has nominated four board candidates and criticized existing directors for a lack of “credible plan” as energy markets shift to cleaner fuels.

London-based PIRC is the first of the major proxy advisory firms to release its report ahead of the company’s May 26 shareholder vote. Its report did not detail the reasons for its director recommendations.

It advised Exxon shareholders to vote for activist fund nominees – Gregory Goff, Anders Runevad, Kaisa Hietala and Alexander Karsner – and against five existing Exxon board members including Chief Executive Darren Woods.

PIRC also recommended that shareholders vote to split the combined CEO-board chairman roles at the largest U.S. oil company. A separate chair “can provide independent oversight of management and facilitates clearer lines of accountability with respect to corporate decisions,” it wrote.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Exxon and Engine No. 1. did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Engine No.1, which counts three pension funds among backers of its slate, has asked shareholders to vote against the re-election of former MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian, former Caterpillar CEO Douglas Oberhelman, former IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano, and former Petronas CEO Wan Zulkiflee.

PIRC urged support for shareholder proposals calling for greater disclosures on lobbying, reports on political contributions and how net-zero carbon emissions scenarios would impact the business.

Its report said allowing shareholders to vote on the company’s climate strategy and goals, would be “in the long-term interests of shareholders.

Exxon has rejected the activist slate and has urged no votes on the proposals to split its chairman and CEO roles, and on the climate-related reports. (Reporting by Jennifer Hiller and Gary McWilliams Editing by Chris Reese and Elaine Hardcastle)

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

In-depth reporting on the innovation economy from The Logic, brought to you in partnership with the Financial Post.

Source: Proxy advisor PIRC recommends activist nominees in Exxon boardroom battle

Related Articles

Back to top button