Exxon Mobil shareholders reject independent chair proposal

Exxon Mobil shareholders Wednesday voted down a proposal that would have required the board chair be independent from the company.

At the company's annual meeting, 40.8% of voters supported the proposal — shy of the needed majority — including the $197.3 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany. Last year, the proposal garnered 38.7% support.

"Shareholders sent a strong message that they are dissatisfied with Exxon's poor governance, which is preventing the company from adequately addressing climate risk," said Thomas DiNapoli, the state comptroller and sole trustee of the Common fund, in a statement. "Exxon would ignore this level of support for an independent board chair at its own risk."