Proxy advisor PIRC recommends activist nominees in Exxon boardroom battle

FILE PHOTO: A logo of the Exxon Mobil Corp is seen at the Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes/File Photo

(Reuters) – Governance advisor Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) on Wednesday recommended Exxon Mobil shareholders vote in favor of four hedge fund nominees in a bitter proxy fight seeking to overhaul the oil giant’s board.

Exxon and activist hedge fund Engine No. 1 are battling over board seats and Exxon’s strategy to meet demands for lower-carbon energy. The fund has nominated four board candidates and criticized existing directors for a lack of “credible plan” as energy markets shift to cleaner fuels.

PIRC recommended voting in favor of the four activist fund nominees – Gregory Goff, Anders Runevad, Kaisa Hietala and Alexander Karsner – and against Exxon board members including Chief Executive Darren Woods.

PIRC also recommended that shareholders vote to split the combined CEO-board chairman roles at the largest U.S. oil company.

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