The new shareholder of Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) is seeking to force the company to pay more attention to green energy.
As the new activist new investment firm of Chris James, Engine No 1 LLC, is out there and it has already knocking on the door of Exxon Mobil. Engine 1, founded just a week ago has sent letter to Exxon Mobil to make changes in the business model as well as at its board.
The oil and gas company announced plans to cut costs in its earnings report last week, and for the third straight year, it is projected to make a loss in 2020.
Engine No 1 has invested approximately $40 million in the Texas-based oil and gas firm. The California State Pension Fund, the second largest pension fund in the United States, which holds Exxon shares worth $300 million, is also supporting the Engine’s bid.
The letter from Chris James also mentions four candidates for Exxon’s Board of Directors, according to the Wall Street Journal. They are supposed to become independent executives, as they have several years of experience in the energy business.
Other suggestions were also stated in the letter, such as the maintenance of dividends by decreasing capital spending in projects that are unlikely to pay off at low energy prices, shifting the emphasis to renewable and adjusting management incentives.
Exxon reported last week a reduction in its capital investment plan for the period up to and including 2025, the Strategy does not allow for additional spending on green energy projects and could have a negative effect on its capitalization.
Exxon shares lost roughly 2 percent which lessened the stock’s price to $40.90 on Monday. However, the new OPEC+ deals lift the potential for stock growth to $45 a share.
Engine 1’s move comes as Exxon’s shares this year are down more than 40 percent, and while some of the decline can be attributed to oil price weakness, Exxon has also lagged behind peers.