Trump Could Tap Overpaid Oil CEOs For Prime Diplomat

4500 square 2205 heat exchangerReuters is reporting that Donald Trump is considering ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson and former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond for the post of Secretary of State.

As someone who’s been analyzing CEO pay for more than 20 years, I feel like I know these guys. So I couldn’t resist pulling out excerpts from two of our annual Government Excess reports wherein Raymond and Tillerson performed starring roles.

First, in 2006, our report zeroed in on the CEOs who had been profiting from the struggle in Iraq. Lee Raymond, because the outgoing CEO of ExxonMobil, was cashing in bigtime on warfare-related oil price volatility, one thing he readily admitted he had no management over. While atypical Individuals had been feeling “pain at the pump,” high oil prices had despatched the value of his pay bundle soaring. Here is the well timed excerpt:

Lee Raymond, ExxonMobil CEO, 1999-2005:

In 2005, ExxonMobil collected $36 billion in revenue, the grandest annual revenue complete ever recorded wherever. Final November, referred to as before Congress to clarify the rising fuel costs that appear to have fueled these report earnings, ExxonMobil’s Lee Raymond explained that rising prices mirror international supply and demand, nothing more.

“We’re all,” Raymond assured Congress, “on this together, in every single place in the world.”

We’re all in this together, except Raymond. As ExxonMobil CEO in 2005, his primary wage alone ran sixty three occasions the typical paycheck in the oil industry. Raymond’s $4 million salary final yr amounted to a weekly take-dwelling of $83,333.

However Raymond hardly needed to content himself with just salary in 2005. His total pay for the year totaled $sixty nine,684,030.

Raymond retired from ExxonMobil at the top of 2005, and his close to $70 million in compensation for the year seemed, at the time, a greater than ample reward for his profession of service to company shareholders. Company administrators disagreed. This past April, information reviews revealed that Raymond walked off into the retirement sunset with a going-away pay package that units a staggeringly new golden parachute commonplace.

This retirement bundle — a grab-bag of stock options, restricted stock awards from previous years, retirement-unbiased salary, and bonuses, plus a $1 million consulting contract, security providers, a automotive and driver, access to the corporate company jet, and $210,800 in nation club fees — would add up to practically $400 million.

“He’s a porker of the first order,” executive pay expert Graef Crystal told Bloomberg after the information of Raymond’s good fortune broke. “These CEOs on the market who are doing better on the trough have to be thrilled he’s flying fighter cover for them.”

Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil CEO, 2006-current:

And now on to ExxonMobil’s current CEO, Rex Tillerson. In 2015, our Govt Excess report was the primary to investigate how CEO pay practices are rewarding corporate leaders for accelerating climate change. The report documented, for instance, how oil corporations government bonuses encourage behaviors that additional lock the businesses into fossil gasoline dependency as a substitute of diversifying into renewables.

At ExxonMobil, the corporate’s proxy statement cited successful drilling in “the primary ExxonMobil-Rosneft Joint Venture Kara Sea exploration nicely in the Russian Arctic” amongst the explanations for awarding high government payouts in 2014. The Russian government-owned Rosneft has a dismal environmental, safety, and transparency file, in keeping with Greenpeace. Within months of the ExxonMobil bonus awards, worldwide sanctions against Russia led to the scrapping of this controversial joint venture.

Here’s more from that report about Tillerson:

A regular on lists of America’s highest-paid company executives, Rex Tillerson pocketed $33 million in 2014, elevating his complete compensation over the previous 5 years to $165 million. His gargantuan reward package would not simply replicate the large dimension of his agency, the nation’s second-largest. As detailed later in this report, ExxonMobil aggressively makes use of stock repurchases to boost share prices, a transfer that in turn inflates Tillerson’s equity-primarily based pay. Between 2003 and 2013, buybacks accounted for an estimated 51 % of ExxonMobil earnings per share progress. As of year-finish 2014, Tillerson, who turned ExxonMobil chair and CEO in 2006, was sitting on greater than $166 million price of unvested stock grants.

Within the midst of all this share repurchasing, ExxonMobil has additionally been spending generously to help climate deniers. In the 2014 election cycle, ExxonMobil’s PAC dished out $715,000 in campaign contributions to candidates who’ve both denied or raised questions about local weather science. ExxonMobil, provides the Union of Involved Scientists, additionally continues to quietly fund climate denial organizations.

Shareholders have pushed arduous for change at ExxonMobil. They’ve launched sixty two local weather-associated resolutions over the previous 25 years. Management has opposed every one. CEO Tillerson, ironically, has little tolerance for setting-threatening behavior in his own backyard. Final yr, his efforts to block a fracking challenge in his posh Dallas suburb made the front web page of the Wall Road Journal.

In a observe-up article in AlterNet, I famous that when a Catholic priest and shareholder activist urged funding in renewables at the corporate’s annual assembly in 2015, Tillerson brazenly mocked him.

I do know I should add one thing thoughtful right here about how Tillerson or Raymond may perform as our nation’s top diplomat, including in international climate negotiations and international efforts to battle international poverty. Sorry, I’ve got nothing to say.