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Exxon CEO Is Dealt Stinging Setback at Hands of New Activist

  • Engine No. 1 prevails after bitter proxy fight with driller
  • Oil giant’s ‘messaging has been terrible,’ fund manager says
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Tiny activist investor Engine No. 1 gained two seats on Exxon Mobil Corp.’s board.Source: Bloomberg)
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Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO Darren Woods was dealt a stunning defeat by shareholders when a tiny activist investment firm snagged at least two board seats and promised to push the crude driller to diversify beyond oil and fight climate change.

For Woods, who had aggressively opposed the insurgents, it was just the latest setback in a rocky 4 1/2-year tenure that has seen what was once the world’s most-valuable company shed more than $125 billion in market value.