Exxon Mobil CEO’s Compensation Climbs Amid Shareholder Discontent

By Editor


Exxon Mobil has disclosed that its Chief Executive, Darren Woods, received a total compensation package of $36.9 million for the year 2023, marking a nearly 3 percent increase from the previous year.

The disclosure in a regulatory filing on Thursday comes ahead of Exxon Mobil’s May 29 annual meeting of shareholders, where the company has recommended shareholders vote against proposals put forward by a minority of investors.

These proposals include calls to reduce executive pay incentives linked to greenhouse gas emission reductions, demands for additional reports on gender and racial bias in pay, and requests for increased reporting on plastic pollution.

Exxon’s ability to thwart such proposals has been bolstered by its success in blocking efforts by activist investors through legal means. Notably, after Exxon filed a complaint in court, Arjuna Capital and shareholder activist group Follow This withdrew their proposal aimed at tightening climate targets, Reuters news report said.

The oil major contends that evaluating each proposal can impose significant costs on companies, with the process potentially costing up to $150,000 per proposal. Moreover, Exxon highlights that less than 4 percent of the 140 proposals filed since 2014 have been approved.

Darren Woods’ compensation package, which is almost 200 times the median pay for an Exxon worker, has drawn scrutiny, particularly considering that the median pay rose by 8 percent last year to $185,376.

Meanwhile, Chevron CEO Michael Wirth saw a substantial increase in total compensation, rising by 12.2 percent to $26.5 million in 2023. This figure stands at approximately 150 times the average pay for Chevron workers, which is $175,673.

It’s worth noting that a portion of CEO compensation typically consists of equity, with the final value being determined when options are exercised or stocks are sold.

Additional incentives for Darren Woods included payments totaling $297,295 for a new residential security system and $485,758 for relocation following the closure of Exxon’s office in Irving, Texas, and its relocation to Spring, Texas.

Three other top Exxon executives received approximately $1 million each in total compensation for their relocation to Spring.

These compensation increases come at a time when profits from oil majors have experienced a significant decline, dropping by about a third from record levels in 2022, as oil and gas prices retreated following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Exxon reported a profit of $36 billion for 2023, down from $55.7 billion the previous year.

GreentechLead.com News Desk

Latest News