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ExxonMobil Slashes CEO Compensation by 18% to Cut Costs

U.S. energy behemoth ExxonMobil Corporation XOM has announced that R.W. Tillerson, its Chairman and CEO, has received total compensation worth $27.30 million for 2015. This reflects a year-over-year decline of nearly 18%.

Per the company’s regulatory filing, Tillerson received a total compensation of $27.30 million. This is much lower than $33.10 million received in 2014 and $28.14 million in 2013.

The total compensation of the CEO includes a base salary of $3.05 million, stock grants worth $18.29 million as well as a bonus of $2.39 million. Notably, the bonus and stock grants declined significantly from $3.67 million and $21.42 million in 2014, respectively. However, Tillerson’s base salary increased in comparison to $2.87 million received in 2014.

With WTI crude price sliding from the $90–$100 per barrel mark less than two years ago to around $41 per barrel and natural gas trading around $2 per MMBtu, ExxonMobil’s earnings and  cash flows have been severely affected. The company’s Upstream unit, which is its largest earnings generating segment, was the worst hit by the ongoing oil price slump, as its results are directly influenced by commodity price movements. Impressive results from the company’s Downstream and Chemical segments were offset by poor performance by the Upstream segment.

For 2015, earnings plunged 50.2% year over year to $16.2 billion. Also, earnings for the fourth quarter declined 57.6% to 2.8 billion from $6.6 billion reported the year-ago quarter. Hence, the company took to reducing its CEO’s compensation to lower operating costs and improve financials in this unfavorable business scenario.

Currently, ExxonMobil carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players from the energy sector areSasol Ltd. SSL, OMV Aktiengesellschaft OMVJF and PetroChina Co. Ltd. PTR. All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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