"By bona fide shareholders, I mean those
shareholders who have invested in ExxonMobil for the time-honored and
socially responsible purpose of making money while providing society
with the vital good and services that it needs. We see ExxonMobil as a
company with a track record of true social responsibility that few
institutions — whether public or private — can match.
only is ExxonMobil perhaps the most profitable business venture in the
history of capitalism, but the company helps provide society with its
lifeblood, petroleum products. ExxonMobil employs more than 80,000
people and earns and returns billions of dollars to millions of
investors every year.
"In the last five years
ExxonMobil’s share price has soared from below $40/share to above
$90/share. In these uncertain economic times, what’s not to like? Yet
some shareholders — like many of those who will follow me today — see
this success as a scourge that they intend to exploit for their own
dubious social and political ends.
see ExxonMobil as a premier investment vehicle engaged in the necessary
and profitable business of fueling society. They don’t see ExxonMobil
as one of society’s top-performing wealth-creation machines. They don’t
see ExxonMobil as one of our society’s top-performing job-creation
machines. They don’t see ExxonMobil as one of society’s top-performing
pension fund investments.
'poseur' shareholders see ExxonMobil as a means to advance their
anti-people, anti-business and anti-capitalism social and political
agenda. You will hear from some who seek to manufacture controversy
over a variety of issues, including corporate governance and CEO pay.
don’t view such issues as means for making the company work better for
shareholders, employees and customers, but rather as a means of
dividing and conquering management and making it more pliable to
political pressure. You will hear from shareholders who say they’re
worried about global warming.
"Yet they willfully ignore the latest forecast
from U.N. scientists that calls for global cooling caused by Mother
Nature — not global warming caused by humans — and that more than
31,000 U.S. scientists recently signed a petition decrying as unfounded the scientific claims underpinning global warming alarmism.
poseur shareholders instead seek to pressure management and weaken its
resolve in the fight against junk science-based government regulation.
You will hear from some who want ExxonMobil to focus on alternative
energies like ethanol. But as CEO Rex Tillerson has rightfully pointed
out, ExxonMobil sells oil and gas, not 'moonshine.' The poseur
shareholders apparently want ExxonMobil profitability to be based on
politically determined taxpayer subsidies and government giveaways
rather than the competition of the free market.
the alternative energy strategy failed miserably at oil giant BP. As BP
CEO John Browne chased the alternative fuel fantasy and advocated
climate alarmism, his inattention to safety and maintenance led to 15
tragic deaths at the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion, the
largest-ever oil spill in the Alaskan North Slope in 2006 and ensuing
harm to BP’s reputation and share price.
new leadership, BP reportedly will ditch the alternative energy
business entirely since its shares have received little, if any, uplift
from renewable energy. As Congress seeks to humiliate
and pressure oil industry executives and to strip ExxonMobil
shareholders of their rightfully earned profits through a windfall
profits tax, where are the poseur shareholders? Are they using their
activist skills to defend the company against such political thuggery?
"They are instead waging a
take-no-prisoners war against management. This can only harm the
interests of bona fide shareholders. That is why the Free Enterprise
Action Fund has proposed to have management amend the company’s by-laws
to no longer accept harassing and nuisance shareholder proposals.
proposal would by no means eliminate poseur shareholders, but it would
stop the annual meeting from being a forum for their campaign against
ExxonMobil’s bona fide shareholders. We call on ExxonMobil’s bona fide
shareholders and management to band together to fight the predatory
"As for those shareholders who
don’t care for the oil and gas business, get out. There are a host of
alternative energy companies whose subsidies you can invest in. The
rest of us will be quite happy to purchase your shares and enjoy the
profits of true social responsibility. Thank you."