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Trump pick for secretary of state reaches $180 million payout deal with Exxon

Former Exxon Mobil chief Rex Tillerson has reached a retirement deal with the Irving-based oil giant. The deal could ease some — but not all — concerns about Rex Tillerson's personal finances.

By Anne Gearan, The Washington Post
ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson speaks during the IHS CERAWeek 2015 energy conference in Houston on April 21, 2015.

Former Exxon Mobil chief Rex Tillerson has reached a retirement deal with the oil giant worth about $180 million that would sever his ties with the company if he is confirmed as Donald Trump’s secretary of state.

Under a deal reached with Exxon’s board of directors, the value of roughly 2 million deferred Exxon Mobil shares that Tillerson would have received over the next decade would be placed in an independently managed trust account, the company said in a statement late Tuesday.

The arrangement, which Exxon said was struck in consultation with federal regulators, may address some concerns raised by congressional Democrats over the longtime energy executive’s financial ties to a company with business operations across the globe. But the Exxon deal does not appear to resolve additional concerns over the breadth of financial information, including full tax returns, sought by Congress ahead of a confirmation hearing tentatively scheduled for next week.

Tillerson’s extensive business ties to world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, are expected to be a focus of the hearing.

The proposed trust cannot hold Exxon stock, and Tillerson has committed to selling the more than 600,000 Exxon shares he owns, the company said. He also agreed not to work in the oil and gas industry for 10 years.

He would give up cash bonuses and other benefits worth about $7 million, Exxon said.

Tillerson retired as Exxon's chief executive on Dec. 31, weeks after he was announced as Trump’s dark horse pick to become the country’s top diplomat.

Disclosure: Exxon Mobil Corp. has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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