Exxon Mobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson will hold to both of his titles after shareholders rejected a plan backed by some members of the Rockefeller family to split the chairman and chief executive roles.
About 39.5 percent of the board were in favor of the proposal recommending the company to split its chairman and chief executive positions after voting at the Exxon annual meeting held today in Dallas. That number was down from 40 percent last year.
The vote was nonbinding and would not have guaranteed a change in company policies had it passed.
Descendants of John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Exxon Mobil predecessor Standard Oil Corp., supported the proposal to split the jobs.
By defeating the challenge, Tillerson avoided a serious rebuke to his authority to run the world's largest independent oil company.
Tillerson, 56, led the company to a $40.6 billion profit last year, surpassing its own previous record for annual net income by a U.S. corporation, set in 2006.
Exxon shares shot up 60 percent as of yesterday's close of trading, almost three times the 22 percent increase of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon's biggest rival.
Meanwhile, steps to establish pollution- reduction goals for the company's refineries and hold non-binding shareholder votes on executive pay also failed.
While Exxon has put more investment in renewable fuel research, it is far less public about those policies than major rivals like BP, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell.