He served as the 69th U.S. secretary of state from February 2017 to March 2018.
His tenure has been marked by clashes with the Trump government, leading to his dismissal from the post March 13, 2018. His whole career was spent at this business, making him the first secretary of state with no prior experience from the government or military.
What Is Rex Tillerson's Net Worth?
Tillerson rose from small beginnings to accumulate an estimated $300 million fortune during his career. At the end of 2016 he abandoned ExxonMobil using a retirement package of $180 million; the equivalent cash value of his unpaid inventory was placed into an independent hope so as to avoid conflicts of interest.
Secretary of State
Among the pressing issues Tillerson needed to cope with in his tenure as secretary of state were a nuclear-armed North Korea, trade concerns with China and questions about Iran's compliance with an agreement to freeze its nuclear program. Nevertheless he faced all of these difficulties with a smaller diplomatic corps compared to his predecessors.
When Tillerson took the reins, he wished to "redesign" the State Department. His goal was to eliminate personnel overlaps and bureaucratic deadwood, something many in the section originally welcomed. However, critics claimed that U.S. diplomacy was being compromised, in large part due to a reduction of personnel with specialized knowledge.
As Tillerson intended to achieve an eight percent decrease in full-time employees, several openings that resulting from resignations, retirement and attrition were left unfilled. Buyouts were also offered to encourage departures. Comparatively new Foreign Service associates have been hired (curiosity about carrying the Foreign Service exam also fell, with 50 percent fewer registrants in 2017 compared to 2015).
Tillerson affirmed a proposed White House budget that cut funding for his department by 30 percent, which would have affected both diplomacy and foreign aid. However, Congress disliked the steep reductions and okayed a $51 billion budget at the 2018 appropriations bill, $11 billion more than the administration requested.
In March 2018, Tillerson again called out China ahead of his first proper visit to Africa as secretary of state, accusing the Asian ability of hammering corrupt deals and undermining natural resources in Africa. He also announced a $533 million humanitarian aid package to help people affected by food shortages and conflict in Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Lake Chad Basin, part of the total strategy of encouraging counterterrorism action, democracy, governance, investment and trade.
On March 13, 2018, Tillerson's conduct as secretary of state abruptly ended when President Trump announced via Twitter he was visiting CIA Director Mike Pompeo to this post, with Gina Haspel to become the first woman to head the CIA.
Tillerson did not immediately comment, leaving the response to a statement by a State Department official. "The Secretary had every intention of staying due to the critical progress made in national security," said the statement. "He will overlook his coworkers at the Department of State along with the foreign ministers he has worked with throughout the world."
Relationship With Donald Trump
Tillerson did not associate Trump ahead of the election, along with his choice for secretary of state in December 2016 came as a surprise. The then president-elect was considering picks such as 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor. Tillerson's title has been thrown into the ring when former Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested it to Trump (supported by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice).
Another motive Tillerson may have edged out other candidates is his or her elevation. Senator Bob Corker had also been thought of for the position, but apparently Trump believed the senator was not tall enough (allegedly, Tillerson is 5-foot-10 while Corker stands at 5-foot-7).
Though Trump originally enjoyed Tillerson's style, their working relationship was not a smooth one. On October 1, 2017, Trump tweeted that Tillerson was "wasting his time trying to reconcile with Little Rocket Man" (a reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un). When Tillerson was trying to mediate a dispute between Qatar and its allies, the president accused Qatar of financing terrorism.
Along with also a report appeared in October 2017 saying Tillerson had called Trump a "moron" earlier in the year; after the secretary gave a press conference lauding president.
Back in March 2018, a series of leaked emails from the account of a prominent Trump fundraiser named Elliott Broidy showed evidence of a lobbying effort to get the president to fire with his embattled secretary of state. A businessman with interests in the Persian Gulf area, Broidy allegedly was mad that Tillerson didn't support that the United Arab Emirates in its own dispute with Qatar the previous summer.
Career in Exxon
This put him in charge of a firm with around 80,000 employees and yearly revenues of $400 billion. He started there as a production engineer in 1975, after graduating college.
Tillerson thrived in Exxon's corporate culture and ended up in control of international operations, which have been driven by the pressing need for new oil reserves. To protect the company's investments, Tillerson needed to appraise global conditions in nations as diverse as Venezuela, Nigeria and Iraq. He received help in this by the International Government Relations Group in Exxon, whose staff comprised former State Department workers.
Exxon has a mandatory retirement age of 65, so Tillerson was already preparing to resign when he was nominated to become secretary of state.
Tillerson worked together with Vladimir Putin from the 1990s, thanks to a Exxon job on Russia's Sakhalin Island. In 2011, Tillerson had ExxonMobil enter into a deal with Russian oil firm Rosneft. Putin, apparently pleased by the deal, awarded Tillerson membership in Russia's Order of Friendship in 2013.
The 2011 agreement could have been worth up to $500 billion, but was put on hold by U.S. sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. In 2017, the Treasury Department fined Exxon $2 million for violating those sanctions in 2014, a decision that the company is challenging.
Some officials were worried about Tillerson's relations to Russia from his years in ExxonMobil, and several senators asked questions about these ties during Tillerson's confirmation hearing. In the end he was verified, however, 43 senators voted against him.
At the autumn of 2017, Tillerson removed the Coordinator for Sanctions Policy office, moving responsibility for sanctions to the Policy Planning Office. The decision was part of the reorganization plan, but it delayed the execution of sanctions issued for Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Additionally, it took several months for Tillerson to ask allocated funds for the Global Engagement Center, a group meant to fight propaganda and disinformation from the malicious and terrorists country performers (Tillerson's opinion was that he first wanted to ensure the funds could be used effectively).
After Tillerson became leader of ExxonMobil, the company began to accept and admit the scientific consensus that the climate is changing. But, Tillerson continued to voice doubts about the immediate need to decrease oil and gas usage to address the matter, arguing that society would be able to adapt to a changing climate.
But, Tillerson did support the Paris Agreement on climate change, an global pact to limit greenhouse gas emissions. He couldn't prevent President Trump from choosing to withdraw from the accord in June 2017, however in September Tillerson noted the White House might be amenable to staying "under the right conditions."
An investigation into if ExxonMobil deceived investors regarding its knowledge of the impact of fossil fuels on climate change is being conducted with the attorney generals of both New York and Massachusetts.
Wife and Children
They wed after Tillerson had graduated school, and had twin boys prior to divorcing.
From 1983 Tillerson had married Renda House, that had a child of her own. The couple had another son together in 1988.
"I did not need this job. I didn't seek this endeavor," Tillerson declared in a March 2017 interview with all the Independent Journal Review. "My wife told me I'm supposed to get this done."
When and Where Was Rex Tillerson Born?
Rex Wayne Tillerson was created on March 23, 1952, in Wichita Falls, Texas. His name was inspired by two Hollywood stars known for portraying cowboys: Rex Allen and John Wayne.
Family Background and Education
Tillerson -- the second of three kids -- spent his youth in Texas and Oklahoma, moving between little towns with his loved ones. His dad left a job selling bread to be an expert organizer for the Boy Scouts of America; Tillerson became a dedicated member of the company that achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
Like his father, Tillerson remained connected to scouting as an adult. Along with joining the boards of the national and Dallas chapters, he also served as national president of the Boy Scouts of America from 2010 to 2012. In this role Tillerson supported the addition of homosexual scouts.
Tillerson graduated from Huntsville High in Texas and went on to the University of Texas at Austin. There, he studied civil engineering and played with in the Longhorn marching band.
As an adult, Tillerson's house base remained in Texas. His property includes Bar RR Ranches, with "RR" standing for Rex and Renda.
Together with his administration appointment, Tillerson purchased a home in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C. However he regularly leaves D.C. to return to Texas or see his parents in Colorado.
At Exxon Tillerson managed to scale the ranks till he had been the one giving orders. Accumulating merit badges as a Boy Scout was another organized endeavor. But in his government role, Tillerson struck difficulties in dealing with a disorderly Trump government and criticism for not being accessible enough to the media.
"It is much different than being C.E.O. of Exxon since I was the ultimate decision-maker," Tillerson admitted to colleagues in the summer of 2017. "That always makes life easier."