In the LGBT Workplace

Shareholders bow to Exxon's wishes

Protestors demonstrate against Exxon Mobil's environmental record outside yesterday's shareholder meeting in Dallas.

Exxon Mobil stockholders voted down resolutions yesterday calling on the world's largest oil company to change polices on gay rights, climate change and executive pay.

A proposal for Exxon Mobil to add sexual orientation to its employee anti-discrimination policy received almost 35% in balloting at the company's annual shareholders meeting in Dallas. Two environmental initiatives and three resolutions on exec pay got less than 13% of votes.

ExxonProtestors demonstrate against ExxonMobil's
environmental record outside the May 31
shareholder meeting in Dallas

The company opposed the measures, saying it spent $1 billion in the past two years to cut greenhouse gas emissions and already prohibited all forms of discrimination.

Former CEO Lee Raymond deserved the $357 million retirement package he received in January because he delivered record profits, said his successor, Rex Tillerson.

"We have to remember that during his tenure, he led this company through a lot of different business environments," Tillerson told shareholders yesterday. "We are clearly positioned better than our competitors, and you have to give him credit."

Exxon Mobil was pressured by investors, government officials and religious groups in the weeks leading up to the meeting.

Critics included New York City controller William Thompson, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, the Episcopal Church and the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the biggest U.S. pension fund.

Exxon Mobil is the only major U.S. oil company whose anti- discrimination policy doesn't explicitly mention sexual orientation, according to the New York Employees' Retirement System, sponsor of the gay-rights resolution.

Shareholders have rejected the proposal for eight consecutive years.

Before yesterday's meeting began, about two dozen protesters from Greenpeace International and toted signs denouncing Exxon Mobil as a scourge on the environment.

A resolution calling on the company to detail how much environmental damage could result from drilling in wildlife areas garnered 8.5% of the votes cast. It received 8.1% a year ago.

Bloomberg News (excerpted from the GLLI SmartBrief publication)



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