Activist investor Jeff Ubben to join Exxon Mobil's board

Activist investor Jeff Ubben will join Exxon Mobil’s board of directors, the company said Monday.

Exxon shares jumped 4% after CNBC’s David Faber first reported the shake-up.

Mike Angelakis, the chairman and chief executive officer of Atairos and former CFO of Comcast, will also join the oil giant’s board of directors.

The move comes as Exxon has faced pressure from shareholders to reshuffle its board amid the company’s languishing stock price. Exxon’s investor day is Wednesday.

“We welcome these new directors as part of our ongoing board refreshment, which builds on the diverse global business experience of our current members,” Darren Woods, Exxon’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Their contributions will be valued as ExxonMobil advances plans to increase shareholder value by responsibly providing needed energy while playing a leadership role in the energy transition,” he added.

The announcement comes after Exxon announced one board change in February, saying it expected “to take further action in the near term.”

D.E. Shaw, which has been pushing Exxon for changes, is expected to support the nominations, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Ubben founded Inclusive Capital Partners in 2020, after stepping away from ValueAct, the firm he founded in 2000. In his last few years at the firm he oversaw ValueAct’s Spring Fund, which was focused on sustainable investing.

Ubben is expected to become a significant Exxon shareholder over time, according to the sources. Ubben’s no stranger when it comes to investing in oil and gas companies. While at ValueAct he took a stake in BP, saying traditional energy companies can belong in ESG portfolios.

Exxon has come under fire for failing to invest in the future of energy. Earlier this year the company announced plans to invest $3 billion in carbon capture and other emissions-cutting technology. 

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