Activist investors have secured a third seat on the ExxonMobil board of directors, according to preliminary results released by the company Wednesday. Engine No. 1, a small, activist hedge fund that has pressured Exxon on its climate impact, put forward four nominees, three of which have been elected. While Engine No. 1 has only a 0.02% stake in Exxon, it gained support from other financial institutions unhappy with Exxon’s climate strategy. The newest board member, Alexander Karsner, has a strong environmental record and experience working in the renewable energy field.
“It’s a watershed event when an activist investor takes three seats on the board of such a major company, and with the energy transition front and center in the bid to replace several board members, it seems inevitable that Exxon will be rethinking its climate strategy,” said Jason Bordoff, founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. (New York Times $, Washington Post $, CNBC, Reuters, CNN, Wall Street Journal $, Huffington Post, The Hill, Wall Street Journal $)