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The Strategists > Rex W. Tillerson Chairman & CEO, ExxonMobil - Pg. 202

Rex W. Tillerson Chairman & CEO, ExxonMobil THE OIL INDUSTRY was facing unprecedented challenges when Tillerson took over the leadership of ExxonMobil in 2006. The 1999 merger between Exxon and Mobil, plus a strong rise in the price of oil, had turned the company into the world's largest publicly held corporation. However, growing difficulties in gaining access to international reserves and the problem of climate change pointed to a different future for the industry. Tillerson's proven production skills and his diplomatic style made him the right man for the new oil environment. BIOGRAPHY Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1952. Tillerson has a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. LEADERSHIP STYLE Confident and straight-talking, but diplomatic, Tillerson creates an atmosphere of stability and trust around him. KEY STRENGTH GLOBAL DIPLOMAT Having joined Exxon as a production engineer in 1975, Tillerson's effectiveness as head of ExxonMobil's exploration and production side made a crucial contribution to the company's strong growth under his predecessor as CEO, Lee Raymond. His diplomatic skills had enabled the company to do deals in Venezuela, Libya, and Russia, where other oil majors had run into serious governments. With his depth of experience, Tillerson has proved ideally placed to confront these challenges, and his connections with the leaderships of several key nations, particularly Russia, have provided ExxonMobil with a crucial edge. Tillerson's technical skills are also strong, and he has taken steps to keep the company ahead of the pack on the technology front by investing heavily in R&D in the fields