Exxon Mobil boosted CEO pay to $17.5 million for 2017

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp XOM.N Chairman and Chief Executive Darren Woods's compensation package rose about 4 percent last year to $17.5 million, his first year running the world's largest publicly traded oil producer.

Darren Woods, Chairman & CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation attends a news conference at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The pay increase came as Exxon's profit more than doubled in 2017 thanks to rising crude oil prices CLc1LCOc1 and as the company launched or added to major expansions in Brazil, the United States and Guyana.

Still, Woods has had to grapple with a string of operational mistakes made by his predecessor, former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Exxon’s stock has fallen about 14 percent since Woods took office in January 2017.

Woods’s 2017 compensation package included a 20 percent increase in his salary to $1.2 million and a 50 percent increase in his bonus to $1.8 million, among other items, Exxon said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

For 2018, Woods’s salary was boosted again to $1.4 million, though the company did not break out other compensation items for this year.

Woods, for his 2017 compensation package ,received 10 percent fewer shares as part of a stock award program. The value of smaller perks - including personal use of the company jet - fell about 50 percent to $282,544.

Exxon, like many peers, has its CEOs travel on company-owned aircraft, even for personal matters.

Woods’s compensation in 2017 was 108 times larger than the median compensation of $161,562 for Exxon’s roughly 70,000 employees.

Exxon shareholders will meet on May 30 in Dallas for a nonbinding vote on the executive pay package at the company’s annual meeting.

Shareholders will also vote on a slate of 10 directors for Exxon’s board. Michael Boskin, a Stanford University professor, is not standing for re-election as he has reached the board’s retirement age of 72.

Shareholders will also consider resolutions on requiring the company to have an independent chairman, the threshold required to hold an annual meeting, board diversity and lobbying.

There are no shareholder resolutions related to climate change for the 2018 meeting. Shareholders approved a non-binding proposal at last year’s meeting for Exxon to prepare a report on its response to climate change. That report was released in February, though some shareholders have said it does not provide enough detail.

Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Chris Reese