1. Tillerson’s ties to Russia are what helped him ascend to CEO of ExxonMobil
- But since the late 1990s, Tillerson managed Exxon’s account in Russia — which has an economy largely based on its oil and natural gas riches.
- Tillerson’s success with the Russian account is what helped him become CEO of the company in 2006.
- Alexey Pushkov, a member of the Russian parliament, praised Trump’s selection of Tillerson as Secretary of State, saying in a tweet that Tillerson is a “sensation” who has “a lot of experience working with Russia.”
2. Tillerson helped Exxon usher through a deal with a Russian oil company that earned him an award from Putin
- In 2011, Tillerson helped Exxon work out a partnership deal with Rosneft, an oil company that is majority owned by the Russian government.
- The deal gave Exxon access to Russia’s oil, while providing Rosneft — and therefore Russia — with access to Exxon’s oil drilling technology in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Putin himself attended the deal signing.
3. Exxon could earn billions if Russian sanctions are lifted, which would boost Tillerson’s stock in the company as well
- Russia is currently under sanctions by the U.S. and the European Union for its military annexation of Ukraine.
- The sanctions have stopped some of Exxon’s projects in the country that are valued in the billions, the New York Times reported.
- In March, Tillerson appeared to be against the sanctions against Russia during a March analyst meeting, saying Exxon was “very anxious to get back to work” in Russia. Read more