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Exxon Shareholders Re-Elect Two Directors Targeted by Activists


These translations are done via Google Translate
Exxon Mobil shareholders on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to re-elect Chairman Darren Woods and lead director Joseph Hooley, who were targeted by activist shareholders.

The two had faced a “vote no” campaign by shareholder rights activists over the top U.S. oil company’s lawsuit seeking to bar climate-focused investors from bringing future resolutions.

The company’s slate of all 12 directors was elected by shareholders, with 95% votes on average cast in favor of the nominees. Director support ranged from 87% to 98% this year, support last year averaged at 96%.

“Their vote signals a belief that we are on the right track by overwhelmingly re-electing our directors,” Exxon said in a statement.

The company had sued climate activist groups Arjuna Capital and Follow This in January, demanding legal costs and declining to drop the case even after the two agreed to withdraw their petition. Exxon cited “the likelihood” the pair could in the future file similar resolutions.

The petitions were time-consuming, costly and designed to harm its business, Exxon said. Arjuna, the last remaining defendant after the judge dismissed Follow This, pledged not to file further resolutions this week.

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The lawsuit triggered a wave of protests. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System and officials overseeing New York, Nevada and Connecticut state holdings vowed to vote against Woods and Hooley. They argued the lawsuit would muzzle debate among shareholders and public companies.

Exxon, frequently the target of shareholder proposals, has said its lawsuit was necessary to counter a measure aimed at constraining its business rather than increasing shareholder value.

Four shareholder proposals, including reports on plastics pollution and additional social impact, were also rejected.

Both of those proposals received less votes than last year.

(Reporting by Arunima Kumar and Ross Kerber, additional reporting by Sourasis Bose; Editing by Anil D’Silva)



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