PETALING JAYA: Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, the former chief executive officer of national oil company Petronas, will be removed from ExxonMobil’s board after being rejected by voters.
The ouster comes just three months after his appointment in February this year, which made him the first non-American member of the board.
According to industry newsletter Energy Voice, Wan Zulkiflee’s exit came after ExxonMobil activist investor Engine No. 1 expanded its presence on the US oil giant’s board to three seats, according to preliminary vote tallies.
Meanwhile, a source with knowledge on the matter said Wan Zulkiflee was among three directors who were considered as not being a right fit for the board.
Citing a Kuala Lumpur-based oil executive who wished to remain anonymous, Energy Voice said that Engine No. 1 was a “textbook example” of the forces shaping global investing.
“By focusing on clear management failure issues at ExxonMobil, such as carbon policy, capital investment blunders and a lack of purpose and vision, they were able to bring along the institutional investors and notch the win,” the industry source was quoted as saying.
The source said that given the scale and types of challenges facing ExxonMobil, which include the energy transition, loss of faith by global capital markets, as well as dividend risks, “nothing on Wan Zul’s experience will assist”.
Wan Zulkiflee served as Petronas president and group CEO from 2015 to 2020.
Previously, ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods said Wan Zulkiflee’s global industry expertise and insights on energy transition would complement the oil giant’s highly experienced board.
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