ExxonMobil shareholders elected a third director nominated by hedge fund Engine No. 1 to the oil company’s board, the company said on Wednesday, extending the new firm’s upset victory at one of America’s most iconic corporations.
The election was a shock to an energy industry struggling to address growing investor concerns about global warming and a warning to Exxon managers that years of weak returns were no longer acceptable.
Engine No. 1 nominee Alexander Karsner, a strategist at Google owner Alphabet, won the fund’s third seat, according to a regulatory filing. Exxon board member and former Caterpillar CEO Douglas Oberhelman also was elected, the company said.
“We look forward to working with all of our directors to build on the progress we’ve made to grow long-term shareholder value and succeed in a lower-carbon future,” said Exxon Chief Executive Darren Woods in a statement.
Woods, who campaigned against the challenger, was re-elected by 94.1 percent, a larger margin than a year ago. A non-binding shareholder proposal asking the company to split the CEO and chairman’s roles was supported by 22.1 percent compared to 32.7 percent last year, according to the preliminary numbers.
ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods had campaigned against the slate backed by hedge fund Engine No.