President-elect Donald Trump chose Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State. As Fred Katayama reports, Tillerson could be in for a contentious Senate confirmation hearing.
President-elect Donald Trump chose a fellow deal-making CEO as his top diplomat. He named Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State. Starting as a production engineer at the world's largest energy company, Tillerson ran business units overseas including Russia before becoming CEO in 2006. But it's his ties with Russia and President Vladmir Putin that could make his Senate confirmation hearing a contentious one. He has opposed U.S. sanctions against Russia for its incursion into Crimea. And his nomination comes just after the CIA concluded Russia had intervened in the U.S. election with cyberattacks to help Trump win the White House. Moscow's top diplomat said Russia is ready to work with Tillerson. In choosing Tillerson, Trump passed over a string of politicians and leaders including ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Senator Bob Corker, ex-U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Exxon may not be impacted much if he were to leave. Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said, "Exxon is not a company where it particularly matters who the CEO is. Like a supertanker, it's very slow to turn, and it doesn't matter who the captain is." Exxon Mobil shares rose at the start of trading.