06 August 2005

‘Wishful Thinking’ or Tea for the Tillerson?

Several interesting items in Friday's Financial Times have me wondering whether the stepping down of Lee Raymond, every enviros' easy target at ExxonMobil, presents an opportunity or more business as usual for the energy behemoth. While other "Big Oil" companies warned of a coming energy crunch, and Securing America's Future held an oil supply interruption simulation, EM is still the proud owner of those wonderfully banal ads, "Wishful thinking must not cloud real thinking."

Indeed, perhaps Rex Tillerson's first move should be to clear the air. He can start by admitting that the real wishful thinking is that ExxonMobil can remain the world's largest company (by market capitalization, $375.6bn as of last Thursday) if they refuse to believe that diversification in energy as well as investments in alternatives is essential. Most of their sister and brother companies have already taken the inside track to stave off the eventual end of their good fortunes.

But don't count on it. Any shareholders out there willing to stand up and ask him what he plans to do?

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