Chevron Corp. shareholders voted 55% in support of a proxy-access proposal, while Exxon Mobil Corp. shareholders voted 49.4% in favor of a similar access proposal, according to preliminary voting results of the companies' annual meetings Wednesday provided by a spokesman for Scott M. Stringer, New York City comptroller, who oversees the New York City Retirement Systems, which filed the proposals at the companies.
Joining the New York City pension funds, whose combined assets total $163.4 billion, in voting in favor of the access proposals at Chevron and Exxon Mobil were the $308.1 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento; C$264.6 billion ($220.3 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto; $185.1 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee; and C$154.4 billion Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Toronto.
“Today's historic victory at Chevron is a vote for accountable and climate-competent directors,” Mr. Stringer said in a statement. “Chevron joins dozens of companies across the country whose investors have demanded a meaningful voice in their boardrooms. At Exxon, the onus is now on the board to respond to the near-majority vote, over management's opposition, in favor of a real say in how directors are elected.”
In separate statements, Chevron and Exxon Mobil confirmed their proxy-access voting results as well as provided other voting results.
At Chevron, shareholders rejected all other shareholder proposals: They rejected by a 95% vote against, a call for disclosure of charitable contributions; 72%, lobbying spending; 96%, prohibition on political spending; 96%, increasing return capital to shareholders in light of the growing potential for stranded carbon-based assets and decreasing profitability; 91%, targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; 73%, a report on the impact of hydraulic fracturing; 78%, independent chairman; 80%, nominating a director with environmental expertise; and 69%, enabling shareholders to call a special meeting.
Shareholders voted 94% in favor of ratifying the compensation of Chevron's top executives, including John S. Watson, chairman and CEO, whose 2014 total compensation was $25.9 million, up 8.1% from 2013.
At Exxon Mobil, shareholders rejected all other shareholder proposals: the vote in favor of a call for an independent chairman was 33.8%; for a climate expert on the board, 21%; for a quota for including women on the board, 4.3%; for a report on compensation for women, 5.8%; for a report on lobbying spending, 21%; for adoption of greenhouse gas emission targets, 9.6%; and for a report on the impact of hydraulic fracturing, 24.9%.
Shareholders voted 90.1% in favor of ratifying the compensation of Exxon Mobil's top executives, including Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and CEO, whose 2014 total compensation was $33 million, up 17.6% from 2013.
Chevron and Exxon Mobil directors were elected with an average, respectively, 98% and 97.1% of the vote in favor.
The boards of Chevron and Exxon Mobil opposed all the shareholder proposals at their companies.
Melissa Ritchie, Chevron spokeswoman, said in an e-mail, “The board will consider the final voting results carefully, including the vote on proxy access and the thoughtful stockholder discussions on that issue.”