As one might know might know Exxon Mobil landed itself at the number one spot of the fortune 500 list in 2012 (Fortune 500, 2012). Over the last one hundred twenty-five years Exxon has grown from you average producer of kerosene to, debatably, the top producer of petroleum products in the world. A lot can be said for such a great accomplishment in today’s society. One of the greatest attributes to an organization of this magnitude has is a strong, determined, and goal oriented Chief Executive officer; better known as CEO. Rex W. Tillerson currently holds this position with Exxon, and has done so since 2006 (Rex W. Tillerson).
When diving deeper into the life of, CEO, Rex Tillerson one must most importantly; look at the great climb up the corporate ladder that Tillerson has flawlessly accomplished; in addition to the climb up the ladder one must research each position held by Tillerson in order to get a full understanding of his experience.
A little background, Tillerson is a Texas native, born March 23, 1952 in the great city of Wichita Falls. Tillerson earned himself a Bachelor of Science degree in the engineering field, more specifically civil engineering, from the University of Texas at Austin. After the completion of his degree, Tillerson went to work for Exxon in 1975 as a mere production engineer (Rex W. Tillerson). As a production engineer, Tillerson was responsible for managing the production of oil and gas to help maximize revenue and cutting operating expenses (Production Engineering). This Position would, unknowingly, begin the torturous climb up the ranks within Exxon.
In 1989, a mere fourteen years later, Tillerson would advance up in the company; taking the role as the general manager of the production division of Exxon company, U.S.A (EUSA) which would make him responsible for oil and gas production for much of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas (Rex W. Tillerson). This gave Tillerson his first link to the Chief executive officer positions; since as a general manager, he would be answering to the CEO.
Tillerson only held this position for a short three years before he waspromoted to production advisor of Exxon Corporation. Tillerson held this position for just a short time before being rewarded the position of President of Exxon Yemen and Esso Exploration and production Khorat, Inc (Rex W. Tillerson).
In January 1998, as President of Exxon Neftgas Limited and vice president of Exxon Ventures (CIS) Inc, he was responsible for Exxon’s holdings in Russia, the Caspian Sea and the Sakhalin I Consortium operations off shore Sakhalin Island, Russia (Rex W. Tillerson). In December 1999, he became executive vice president of ExxonMobil Development Company, with responsibility for all upstream capital development projects worldwide (Rex W. Tillerson). Exxonmobil Development
Company engages in the outlining and fullfilment of oil and gas development projects. The company also provides research and advancement drilling services. Its projects include deep-water fields in West Africa, oil deposits in Venezuela, and liquefied natural gas in Qatar (Comapny overview of Exxonmobil Development Company). The organization is based in Houston, Texas. Exxonmobil Development Company operates, as a daughter company to Exxon Mobil Corporation. From there, Tillerson took yet another step up the corporate ladder with Exxonmobil. In August 2001, Tillerson was named the senior vice president of Exxonmobil Corporation.
A senior vice president, often abrviated (SVP), is considered one of the members of the upper echelon management positions. This position often comes with large amounts of responsibility due to the great influence in the organization that it holds. The senior vice president position is usually appointed by the president or chief executive officer of the organization (What is a Senior Vice President). As ExxonMobil’s senior vice president for exploration and production, he was responsible for 80% of the $11 billion profit generated by the world’s largest private oil company in 2002.
Tillerson played a key role in ExxonMobil’s efforts to find new oil fields, especially in Russia, where he is well connected to officials, all the way up to President Vladimir Putin (Booth & Booth, 2003). On March 1, 2004 Tillerson was elected President of ExxonMobil Corporation. In addition to becoming president he also became a member of the board of directors. The Responsibility at the forefront for the Board of Directors is the protection of the shareholders’ assets, and for the board to try and ensure the investors that they will see good return on their investments.
A Few more important responsibilities that finds themselves in the hands of the board of directors is determining pay for the chief executive officer, pay dividends, determine if a stock split is in the best interest of the company, revise financial statements, and lastly recommend or discourage purchases and mergers (Investing for Beginners). As for the president position, Tillerson’s responsibilities could be broken down in to three main branches: Strategy development, Performance Management, and public relations (Henderson).
First on the list is strategy development. One of the main goals of an organization to the magnitude of ExxonMobil is setting and achieving goals. The president is responsible for creating long-term and short-term goals involving marketing of products, sales, service, as well as research and development of future products (Henderson). According to Academy of Management Journal it is very important for all upper management position to hold goal importance congruence. This would help mediate the relationship between the CEO and vice presidents (Colbert, Kristof-Brown, Bradley, & Barrick, 2008), Next in the line is Performance Management. A president regularly checks in and reviews the organization’s performance.
This is sometime done through production or financial reports, and face-to-face meetings with department or branch managers. The president’s sole concern when performing these reports is to make sure that the organizations is operating within its budget.
The president has the power to make calls such as cut expenses and communicate new policies to his direct reports. It is these individuals’ responsibility to implement these policies into their own sectors. In addition to these responsibilities the president usually conducts and annual evaluation of each of his direct reports to ensure that they are doing their job to the full magnitude of their ability. These one-on-one meeting often result in compensation changes based on the individual’s performance (Henderson).
Lastly you have public relations. In a lot of situations a president serves as the face of the organization. In addition to directly addressing his corporatin internally through emails, newsletters, meeting, or memorandums, the president may also involve himself with organizations related to his industry (in this case Petroleum). Presidents are often time the person in the public spotlight on television or radio. The president directly communicates with the public relaying positive information or sometime addressing crisis information (Henderson).
On January 1, 2006 Rex Tillerson took the final step up the grueling corporate ladder when he became Chief Executive Officer after the late Lee Raymond’s retirement. So, in addition to his presidential responsibilities Tillerson so would take responsibility of CEO.
In the grand scheme of things, pretty much everything falls on the shoulders of the CEO. The CEO is responsible for operations, marketing, strategy, financing, creation of culture, human resources, hiring and firing, compliance with state and federal codes, sales, and safety. As one see this is entirely too much for one person to handle alone. This is why the CEO has to be great at delegating work to the lower levels of management. Debatably the most important trait for any management position, especially CEO, to have is good communication skills. Not having good communication within an organization with the magnitude of ExxonMobil could be tragic.
One can think of it as a giant game of telephone. When the CEO creates a new production strategy, of course it has to be implemented. The CEO communicates the plan to the president, then from the president to vice president, vice president to district managers, district managers to shift managers, and lastly shift managers to employees. Without good communication one can see that this could send an organization into a downward spiral and eventually lead to bankruptcy.
As one can see, Rex Tillerson has taken quite a ride through the ranks with ExxonMobil. Rex Tillerson has debatably had a performed perfectly to rise to the, well deserved, position of CEO. Andy Dallas, associate directoror, Robert Half Financial Services, said: “Finance and accounting professionals need to prove their net worth by demonstrating that they are hungry for new opportunities and willing to compete for success.
That doesn’t mean trampling over your colleagues, but it does mean showing that you have the energy and willingness to win” (What it Takes to Climb The Corporate Ladder, 2012). Rex Tillerson has achieved these thing though identifying and achieving goals on a daily basis; the most important responsibility of a CEO.
One way that Rex Tillerson has made ExxonMobil so successful is through creating a positive corporate culture. Tillerson helps create this environment by radiating competence and stability among his people (Booth & Booth, 2003). Of the four corporate cultures:
Adaptability culture, achievement culture, involvement culture, and consistency culture, Tillerson debatably falls under the adaptability culture for his fast response to dilemma and stern decision making. In order for Tillerson to continue to steer ExxonMobil in the right path toward greatness he will have to keep a positive corporate culture. Many say that the culture was so strong after the departure of Lee Raymond that there was no way that Tillerson could not rock the boat (Life After Lee, 2005).
Rex Tillerson had big shoes to fill when he was appointed to take the Chief Executive Officer position by the late Lee Raymond. Many people were skeptical as to whether or not he could fill the giant shoes of his predecessor. Tillerson has come to play. He has taken the opportunity and ran with, continuing the success of ExxonMobil. This just goes to show that it takes a true business man to guide a corporation to the top, and seems to some that Tillerson is the right man for the CEO position at ExxonMobil Corporation (Life After Lee, 2005). Works Cited
Booth, C., & Booth, T. (2003). An Oil Man Who Still Gets Respect. Time , 162 (22), 84. Colbert, A., Kristof-Brown, A., Bradley, B., & Barrick, M. (2008). CEO Transformational Leadership: The Role of Goal Importance Congruence in Top Management Teams. Academy of Management Journal , 51 (1), 81-96. Comapny overview of Exxonmobil Development Company.
(n.d.). Retrieved 1 27, 2013, from Investin.businessweek.com: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=6488180 Fortune 500. (2012). Retrieved 1 24, 2013, from money.cnn.com: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2012/full_list/ Henderson, K. (n.d.). Chron. Retrieved 1 25, 2013, from What Are the Duties of the President of an Organization?: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/duties-president-organization-428.html Investing for Beginners. (n.d.). Retrieved 1 25, 2013, from The Board of Directors: http://beginnersinvest.about.com/cs/a/aa2203a.htm Life After Lee.