Rockefellers Pump Exxon Execs for Changes

Family wants independent chairman, climate change initiatives
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2008 1:58 PM CDT
Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, has rebuffed efforts by the Rockefeller family to make the company more environmentally friendly.   (AP Photo/CP, Jeff McIntosh)
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(Newser) – Executives at Exxon are bracing for an onslaught from the Rockefeller family, whose patriarch founded the oil firm’s predecessor a century ago, the Wall Street Journal reports. Led by John D. Rockefeller’s great-granddaughter, the family wants Exxon to pursue renewable forms of energy and appoint an independent chairman.

Despite their powerful name, the family faces an uphill fight: They own a tiny percentage of shares, Exxon says, and the company just posted the highest profits ever for an American firm. But that hasn’t stopped four generations of Rockefellers from taking action. “They are trying to remove the stain of oil from the family name,” explained one historian.