Facts about Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson Biography
Rex Tillerson is the former Exxon CEO who became Secretary of State in 2017 under President Donald Trump. He was let go by Trump in 2018.
Rex Tillerson had previously been with Exxon for his entire working career of 41 years. Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, he earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering (or BSCE) at the University of Texas in 1975 before joining Exxon as production engineer the same year, according to his official company biography. He worked his way up through the ranks, becoming general manager of the central production division (1989), production advisor (1992), president of Exxon Yemen Inc. (1995) and vice president of Exxon Ventures (CIS) Inc. and president of Exxon Neftegas Ltd. (1998).
In the latter roles he gained extensive experience with Russia and the former Soviet states around the Caspian Sea — experience that later helped lead to his choice as Secretary of State. (He was awarded the Order of Friendship by Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2013.)
Rex Tillerson completed his climb to Exxon’s executive suite by becoming senior VP of Exxon Mobile Corporation in 2001, president in 2004, and CEO in 2006. He served in that role (and later as chairman of the board) until 2016, when he stepped down after his nomination as Secretary of State. He was confirmed by the Senate on February 1, 2017 and sworn in the same day, succeeding John Kerry in the job.
Tillerson’s time at the State Department was rocky, with Tillerson often finding himself at odds with President Trump on issues like North Korea, the Paris climate accords, and Iran. Trump announced on Twitter on March 13, 2018 that “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!”
An Eagle Scout as a boy, Rex Tillerson was national president of the Boy Scouts of America from 2010-12… Rex Tillerson married the former Renda St. Clair on June 21, 1986, according to marriage records from the State of Texas; the state report says that he was 34 and she was 29 at the time of the marriage. They have four children, according to NBC News and other sources; the youngest, Tyler, graduated from high school in 2006, according to a 2016 story in the Denton (TX) Record-Chronicle. That matches a 2006 report from the University of Texas saying that Rex Tillerson’s youngest son was a freshman there… The Tillerson family runs Bar RR Ranches, a horse-breeding operation Bartonville, Texas.
Something in Common with Rex Tillerson
4 Good Links
- 2018 report from The New York Times
- 2017 backgrounder by The Washington Post
- 2016 New Yorker profile, with notes on Exxon's global power
- A local paper looks at his life in suburban Texas