Tue Mar 13, 2018, 01:35 PM

Tillerson Has 180 Million Reasons Not to Return to Oil Industry

March 13, 2018, 11:51 AM EDT Updated on March 13, 2018, 2:24 PM EDT

It isn’t clear where Rex Tillerson goes from here, but he has 180 million reasons to avoid the oil industry.

The freshly ousted secretary of state’s exit package from former employer Exxon Mobil Corp. stipulates that if Tillerson returns to the private sector to work for a competitor, he could forfeit roughly $180 million in deferred compensation.

Exxon created a payout plan in January 2017 for Tillerson, who had led Exxon since 2006 before serving in the Trump administration, to compensate him for more than 2 million unvested shares and stock units while removing any conflicts of interest. Tillerson surrendered his stock awards in exchange for a cash payment to an independently managed trust -- the trust then distributes money to Tillerson according to a schedule that mirrors Exxon’s long-horizon vesting schedule, which can last as long as 10 years.

A provision of Tillerson’s ethics agreement says that he must give up any undistributed assets in the trust if he becomes employed by or provides services to “a company in the oil and gas industry or the oil and gas services industry.” The terms cover being a consultant, contractor, director or paid employee.


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