CalPERS Considers Opposing Exxon CEO’s Re-election: Implications for Exxon Coin (EXXN) Investors

  • CalPERS, the largest public pension plan in the US, is contemplating voting against the re-election of ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods to the board.
  • This move is due to shareholder dissatisfaction over a lawsuit ExxonMobil lodged against two climate-focused investors, Arjuna Capital and Follow This.
  • The lawsuit was in response to the investors’ call for Exxon and other oil companies to adopt stricter climate targets and reduce emissions from their products.

CalPERS, the largest US public pension plan, may vote against ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods’ re-election due to a lawsuit against climate-focused investors. The investors had urged Exxon and other oil companies to adopt stricter climate targets and reduce emissions.

CalPERS Considers Voting Against ExxonMobil CEO

CalPERS, the largest public pension plan in the United States, is reportedly considering voting against the re-election of ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods to the board. This comes amid growing shareholder discontent over a lawsuit ExxonMobil filed against two climate-focused investors, Arjuna Capital and Follow This, as reported by the Financial Times.

Shareholder Discontent Over Lawsuit

Earlier this year, investors led by Arjuna Capital and Follow This called on Exxon and other oil companies to adopt stricter climate targets and set goals to reduce emissions produced by users of their products. In response, Exxon filed a complaint in a Texas court in January, seeking to prevent a climate proposal by these activist investors from going to a vote during the company’s shareholder meeting in May. Despite the investors withdrawing the proposal, Exxon continued to pursue the lawsuit.

CalPERS’ Stance on the Issue

Michael Cohen, Chief Operating Investment Officer at CalPERS, expressed deep concern about the case, stating that it appears to be an effort to silence critical shareholders. “Exxon has gone well beyond any other company that we’re aware of in terms of suing shareholders for trying to bring forward a proposal,” he told the Financial Times. CalPERS, which holds a 0.2% equity stake in Exxon, is encouraging other investors to voice their opposition to the lawsuit.

Conclusion

CalPERS’ potential move to vote against the re-election of ExxonMobil’s CEO illustrates the increasing pressure on oil companies to address climate change. It also highlights the growing influence of activist investors in shaping corporate policies. The outcome of this case could have significant implications for shareholder rights and the future direction of ExxonMobil.

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