NC Retirement System Protests Exxon Executives' Pay

May 30, 2006 ( - The North Carolina retirement system will not support the re-election of five directors who serve on Exxon Mobil Corp.'s compensation committee, the state's treasurer said Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press, State Treasurer Richard Moore said that the state’s retirement system is acting out against Exxon because, “As shareholders, we are outraged that executives are using soaring gas prices, which are hitting consumers at the pump, to fatten their own wallets. The excessive pay packages, like that seen at Exxon Mobil, diminish shareholder value and are evidence of policies that fail to generate long term value for shareholders.”

Lee Raymond, Exxon’s former chairman who recently retired, received a total package of almost $400 million including salary bonus, stock options and a one-year $1 million consulting arrangement, according to the AP. In response to Raymond’s retirement plan and motorists’ soaring gas prices, the US House Energy and Commerce Committee has asked Exxon for detailed information about Raymond’s retirement package, calling it an “exorbitant payout.”

Though the North Carolina retirement system has a relatively small holding in the company compared to Exxon’s worldwide shares, which are about six billion, Moore, who is considering running for governor in 2008, said he thinks this boycott will affect Exxon because the system’s shares make up the single largest holding in the state’s public equity fund — 11 million shares, according to the AP.