Leak Reveals Another Tillerson-Russia Tie

He headed Exxon's Russian subsidiary
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2016 1:42 AM CST
Leak Reveals Tillerson Directorship at Offshore Firm
In this May 28, 2014, photo, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson listens to a reporter's question after the annual ExxonMobil shareholders meeting in Dallas.   (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Documents leaked to a German newspaper have revealed that Rex Tillerson has even stronger ties to Russia than first thought, the Guardian reports. The ExxonMobil CEO spent years as a director of Exxon Neftegas, Exxon's Russian subsidiary based in the Bahamas for tax purposes, according to corporate documents leaked to Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Tillerson was a director from at least 2001 until 2006, according to the Guardian, which notes that while there's nothing particularly shady about the position, it's certain to add to questions about Tillerson's ties to Russia during his secretary of state confirmation hearings. He has publicly called for the lifting of sanctions against Moscow.

It was already known that Tillerson served as president of the subsidiary, but analysts say the directorship of the firm, one of at least 67 Exxon-related entities based in the Bahamas, raises questions about the range of his financial holdings. "If he's a director of corporate entities outside the US, including in jurisdictions that are more secretive, it could make it more difficult to ensure that he did divest fully," an oil and gas sector expert at the Natural Resource Governance Institute tells the Center for Public Integrity. "It shows that there's going to have to be a lot of scrutiny on that divestment process." Tillerson holds at least $228 million in Exxon stock, and his decisions in government will affect their value. (Insiders say choosing Tillerson wasn't Donald Trump's idea.)

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