Shareholders of Exxon Mobil Corp. gathered today for
the oil giant's annual meeting while oil drum-wearing demonstrators
protested that the company is helping retard action against global
Shareholders were scheduled to take up several resolutions from
dissident shareholders on environmental and executive compensation
issues. Some of the same proposals have failed to win majority support
in past years.
The meeting marks the public debut of new Chairman and Chief
Executive Rex W. Tillerson, who took over in January when longtime CEO
Lee R. Raymond retired. Raymond's confrontations with dissident
shareholders was a staple of past meetings.
Before the meeting, shareholders noshed on doughnuts and viewed
company exhibits in the lobby of the ornate Morton H. Meyerson Symphony
Center. Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company,
earned a record $36 billion last year.
Across the street, about 50 demonstrators from a group called Expose
Exxon donned oil drums and chanted slogans such as from "Human need,
not corporate greed." Two dozen police officers watched the group, and
a police helicopter hovered above.
Most shareholders entered from an underground parking garage and never saw the protestors.
"We're asking Exxon Mobil to start investing in clean alternative
renewable energy like its competitors do," said the director of
Washington-based Expose Exxon, Shawnee Hoover. She also criticized the
company's funding of groups that question scientific theories that the
burning of oil-based fuels are contributing to global warming.
Over the years, Exxon officials have said it wasn't prudent for the
company to invest large amounts in alternative energy. Tillerson has
said recently that he doesn't expect alternative fuels to replace oil
in the next 30 years.
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