>> Prime minister and President-elect.>> ExxonMobil is cutting ties with Rex Tillerson. Whether that cuts off conflict of interest questions swirling around Donald Trump's Secretary of State choice is another issue. ExxonMobil likely trying to avoid the microscope Tillerson will be under during confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. Will essentially cash him out by handing him his retirement package now.
That means transferring more than 2 million unvested shares, currently worth roughly $180 million into a blind trust. If confirmed, Tillerson will also sell off all of his remaining shares worth $54 million, and surrender only roughly $4 million in bonus pay. Whether this clears Exxon and Tillerson of all conflicts of interest remains to be seen.
As the company could still be viewed as coughing up a lot of cash to its former chief as he seeks a post that will likely influence the world's energy markets. And his ties to Russia, where Exxon Mobile has been very active, are becoming an emerging flash point for both the administration and Tillerson.
Tillerson's confirmation hearings begin January 11, the same day Trump will have a long-awaited press conference detailing his plans to parse his vast business interests in order to pass the ethical smell test before taking office.