Nineteen institutional investors including CalPERS, CalSTRS, the $154.4 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, the $108 billion New York City Retirement Systems and the $26 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds endorsed shareholder proposals at Exxon Mobil Corp. calling for a split in the chairman and CEO positions and action to address climate change risks and opportunities, representatives of the group said at a teleconference today.
Exxon Mobils go-slow approach in addressing greenhouse gas reductions and investments in renewable energy sources places long-term shareholder value at risk, said California state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who serves on the board at the $248.2 billion California Public Employees Retirement System and $164 billion California State Teachers Retirement System, both in Sacramento. Instead of dragging its feet, Exxon Mobil should be taking the lead in providing long-term climate solutions.
The company has displayed defiance and indifference to important concerns of long-term shareholders, said Kenneth Sylvester at the teleconference. Mr. Sylvester, the assistant comptroller-pension policy at the New York City comptrollers office, which oversees the citys retirement system, added that if the company ignores majority or large votes in favor of the proposals, investors might step up shareholder activity, including withholding votes from directors.
Rex W. Tillerson currently is chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, based in Irving, Texas. The companys annual meeting is May 28.
The investors hold more than 91 million shares of Exxon Mobil stock.