Rex Tillerson climbed through the ranks of ExxonMobil to become its CEO and chairman in 2006. He functioned as the 69th U.S. secretary of state in February 2017 to March 2018.
Rex Wayne Tillerson (b. March 23, 1952) was sworn in as the 69th secretary of state for the United States on February 1, 2017, under President Donald J. Trump. His tenure has been marked by clashes with the Trump administration, leading to his dismissal from the post March 13, 2018. Tillerson previously served as CEO and chairman of ExxonMobil from 2006 to 2016. His whole career was spent at this business, which makes him the first secretary of state with no prior expertise in the government or military.
What Is Rex Tillerson's Net Worth?
Tillerson rose from modest beginnings to collect an estimated $300 million fortune during his career. At the end of 2016 he left ExxonMobil using a retirement package of $180 million; the equivalent money value of his unpaid inventory was put into an independent trust to avoid conflicts of interest.
Secretary of State
Among the pressing problems Tillerson had to deal 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 suspend its nuclear program. Yet he faced all of these difficulties with a smaller diplomatic corps than his predecessors.
When Tillerson took the reins, he wished to "redesign" the State Department. His aim was to eliminate personnel overlaps and bureaucratic deadwood, something a lot in the section initially welcomed. But, critics claimed that U.S. diplomacy has been undermined, in substantial part because of a loss of personnel with technical knowledge.
Since Tillerson intended to reach an eight percent reduction in fulltime employees, several openings that resulted from resignations, retirement and attrition were left unfilled. Buyouts were offered to encourage departures. Comparatively new Foreign Service members were hired (interest in taking the Foreign Service examination also fell, with 50 percent fewer registrants in 2017 compared to 2015).
Tillerson affirmed a proposed White House budget which cut funding for his department by 30 percent, which could have affected both diplomacy and foreign aid. But, Congress lacked the steep cuts and okayed a $51 billion budget in the 2018 appropriations bill, $11 billion more than the administration requested.
In March 2018, Tillerson again called out China ahead of the first proper visit to Africa as secretary of state, accusing the Asian power of forging corrupt prices 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 overall plan of encouraging counterterrorism activity, democracy, governance, investment and trade.
On March 13, 2018, Tillerson's conduct as secretary of state abruptly stopped when President Trump announced via Twitter he was visiting CIA Director Mike Pompeo into this post, with Gina Haspel to become the first woman to head the CIA.
Tillerson did not immediately comment, leaving the answer to a statement from a State Department official. "The Secretary had every intention of staying due to the critical progress made in domestic security," said the announcement. "He will miss his coworkers in the the Department of State and the foreign ministers he has worked with all the world."
Tillerson did not associate Trump before the election, along with his choice for secretary of state at December 2016 arrived as a surprise. The afterward president-elect was considering picks for example 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor. Tillerson's title was thrown into the ring when former Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested that it Trump (encouraged by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice).
Another motive Tillerson might have edged out other candidates is his elevation. Senator Bob Corker had been thought of for the place, but seemingly Trump thought the senator was not tall enough (allegedly, Tillerson is 5-foot-10 while Corker stands in 5-foot-7).
Though Trump initially liked Tillerson's design, their working relationship wasn't a smooth one. On October 1, 2017, Trump tweeted that Tillerson was "wasting his time attempting to negotiate with Little Rocket Man" (a reference to North Korean chief Kim Jong-un). And when Tillerson was trying to mediate a dispute between Qatar and its allies, the president accused Qatar of funding terrorism.
And 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 accounts of a prominent Trump fundraiser named Elliott Broidy revealed evidence of a lobbying effort to have the president to fire his embattled secretary of state. A businessman with interests in the Persian Gulf area, Broidy reportedly was angry that Tillerson did not support that the United Arab Emirates in its dispute with Qatar the previous summer.
Career at Exxon
Tillerson served as CEO and chairman of ExxonMobil from 2006 to 2016. This put him in control of a firm with around 80,000 employees and annual revenues of $400 billion. He began there as a manufacturing engineer in 1975, after graduating college.
Tillerson thrived in Exxon's corporate culture and ended up in charge of international operations, which were driven by the pressing need for new oil reserves. To defend the company's investments, Tillerson had to evaluate global conditions in countries as diverse as Venezuela, Nigeria and Iraq. He received assistance in this from the International Government Relations Group at Exxon, whose employees comprised former State Department employees.
Exxon has a compulsory retirement age of 65, so Tillerson was preparing to step down when he was nominated to be secretary of state.
Tillerson worked with Vladimir Putin in the 1990s, thanks to an Exxon job on Russia's Sakhalin Island. In 2011, Tillerson needed ExxonMobil enter into a deal with Russian oil company Rosneft. Putin, seemingly pleased with the deal, awarded Tillerson membership in Russia's Order of Friendship in 2013.
The 2011 agreement might have been worth up to $500 billion, but was put on hold by U.S. sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Crimea at 2014. In 2017, the Treasury Department fined Exxon $2 million to violating these sanctions in 2014, a decision that the company is challenging.
Some officials were concerned about Tillerson's relations to Russia from his years at ExxonMobil, and several senators asked questions regarding those ties during Tillerson's confirmation hearing. In the end he had been verified, but 43 senators voted against him.
At the fall of 2017, Tillerson removed the Coordinator for Sanctions Policy office, moving obligation for sanctions into the Policy Planning Office. The decision was a part of his reorganization plan, however, it delayed the implementation of sanctions issued for Russia's interference in the 2016 election. It also took several months for Tillerson to request allocated funds for the Global Engagement Center, a band meant to fight propaganda and disinformation from both terrorists and malicious state performers (Tillerson's opinion was that he wished to ensure the funds would be used efficiently).
After Tillerson became leader of ExxonMobil, the business started to accept and admit the scientific consensus that the climate is changing. But, Tillerson continued to voice doubts about the immediate need to cut oil and gas usage to address the issue, arguing that society would be able to adapt to a changing climate.
But, Tillerson did support the Paris Agreement on climate change, an international pact to limit greenhouse gas emissions. He could not prevent President Trump from choosing to withdraw from the accord in June 2017, however in September Tillerson noted the White House might be open to remaining "under the right conditions."
An investigation into whether ExxonMobil deceived investors regarding its knowledge of the effects of fossil fuels on climate change is being conducted by the attorney generals of both New York and Massachusetts.
Wife and Children
Tillerson's first wife was Jamie Lee Henry, a high school bandmate. They married later Tillerson had graduated school, and had twin boys before divorcing.
From 1983 Tillerson had wed Renda House, that had a kid of her own. The couple had another son together in 1988.
"I didn't want this job. I didn't seek this job," Tillerson declared in a March 2017 interview with all the Independent Journal Review. "My wife said I'm supposed to do this."
When and Where Was Rex Tillerson Born?
His name was motivated 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 small towns with his family. His dad left a job selling bread to be a professional organizer for the Boy Scouts of America; Tillerson became a committed member of the company who attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
Like his dad, Tillerson stayed connected to scouting as a grownup. Along with joining the boards of their federal and Dallas chapters, he served as national president of the Boy Scouts of America from 2010 to 2012. Within this role Tillerson supported the inclusion of gay scouts.
Tillerson graduated from Huntsville High at Texas and went to the University of Texas in Austin. There, he studied civil engineering and played with in the Longhorn marching band.
As an adult, Tillerson's house base stayed in Texas. His property comprises Bar RR Ranches, with "RR" standing for Rex and Renda.
Together with his administration appointment, Tillerson purchased a home in the Kalorama area of Washington, D.C. However he frequently leaves D.C. to return to Texas or visit his parents in Colorado.
At Exxon Tillerson was able to climb the ranks until he had been the one giving orders. Accumulating merit badges as a Boy Scout was just another organized endeavor. But in his administration role, Tillerson struck difficulties in coping with a disorderly Trump government and criticism for not being accessible enough to the media.
"It is a lot different than being C.E.O. of Exxon because I was the ultimate decision-maker," Tillerson admitted to colleagues in the summer of 2017. "That always makes life easier."