Secretary of State Nominee Rex Tillerson is stepping down from his position as chairman and CEO with Exxon Mobil after more than 40 years, as a result of an agreement he made with the corporation’s board of directors on Tuesday, January 3.
This decision comes as the nominee prepares to enter the White House and meet conflict-of-interest requirements by the Senate and federal ethics regulators. These requirements include:
- Losing more than $4.1 million in cash bonuses that Tillerson was set to receive over three years
- Selling his 600,000 personal shares in ExxonMobil
- Cancelling his Exxon share awards
- Moving the two million company shares designated for him to an independently managed trust that would follow the same 10-year schedule that his cancelled share awards would have had. This trust cannot invest in Exxon Mobil.
- Not working in the oil and gas industry during the 10 years he receives these payments.
Meeting these requirements will result in an estimated loss of $7 million of what Tillerson would have received if he retired in March as he originally intended. Still, Exxon is giving Tillerson a $180 million retirement package, reports NPR. If Tillerson is found to be in violation of these rules, he would forfeit all trust money to the trust manager’s choice of charities.
None of this secures Tillerson’s confirmation. With his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, senators—like former Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and John McCain—remain hesitant.
The former Exxon Mobil CEO is one of President-elect Donald Trump’s only cabinet picks who acknowledges the science behind climate change. So far, the Senate hasn’t approved any of the 15 nominees, but hearings are set to begin January 9.