Exxon CEO to Break Long-Held Practice of Quarterly Silence

(Bloomberg) -- Darren Woods is breaking with tradition to become the first Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO to sit in on quarterly conference calls with analysts. But it’s not happening until next year.

Woods, who rose to chief executive in early 2017, will participate in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, typically in late January or early February, Vice President of Investor Relations Jeff Woodbury said Friday in a webcast. In the meantime, a member of his inner circle will answer questions on quarterly calls.

“We believe that the investment community did not have a very good understanding of what our value growth potential was,” Woodbury said on Friday during a conference call. “We have taken an extra effort in order to engage with the investment community at all levels of the corporation.”

For Exxon, the announcement represents a seismic shift in corporate culture as well as a bow to investors and analysts who have said they want more direct access to Woods. Typically Woodbury hosts the calls alone. Neither of the CEO’s predecessors -- Rex Tillerson and Lee Raymond -- participated in the quarterly ritual during their combined 24 years leading the company.

The comments follow a first-quarter earnings report that included the worst first-quarter output since the 1999 merger with Mobil and financial results that fell short of expectations.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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