ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson has been nominated by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to be secretary of state, adding to the line of chemical company and manufacturing executives Trump is tapping.
Trump announced the nomination Dec. 13, after days of speculation that Tillerson would be selected.
“Rex knows how to manage a global enterprise, which is crucial to running a successful State Department, and his relationships with leaders all over the world are second to none,” Trump said. “His tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice for secretary of state.”
ExxonMobil is making significant investments in its plastics business. Last month, for example, it announced plans to increase PE capacity by 1.4 billion pounds annually at its Beaumont, Texas, location, a 65 percent capacity increase.
Tillerson, who joined Exxon as a production engineer in 1975, assumed his current jobs in ExxonMobil in 2006. He rose up through the ranks of the company's oil and gas operations.
In 1995, he was named president of Exxon Yemen Inc. and Esso Exploration and Production Khorat Inc.
In 1998, Tillerson became vice president of Exxon Ventures (CIS) Inc. and president of Exxon Neftegas Ltd., where he was responsible for Exxon's holdings in Russia and the Caspian Sea as well as the Sakhalin I consortium operations offshore of Sakhalin Island, Russia.
He was named senior vice president of ExxonMobil Corp. in 2001, and president of the company and member of the board of directors in 2004.
He will join Dow Chemical Co. Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris in the new Trump administration. Liveris was tapped Dec. 9 to head the president-elect's new American Manufacturing Council.
Others with plastics connections nominated to the Trump cabinet include Wilbur Ross, who was nominated to head the Commerce Department, and Betsy DeVos, who has nominated for secretary of education.
Ross created auto interiors giant IAC Group in 2006 by buying interior trim operations from Lear Corp., the former Collins & Aikman Corp. and other firms. IAC is ranked by Plastics News as the second largest injection molder in North America. Ross also is chairman of resin distributor Nexeo Solutions Inc.
DeVos's plastics connection is in her family: her late father Edgar Prince founded auto parts injection molder Prince Corp. Johnson Controls Inc. bought Holland, Mich.-based Prince in 1996.