Exxon Mobil Corporation Adds Airline and Aerospace Leaders to Board of Directors

The former CEO of Continental Airlines, who led a major in the industry’s downturn after 9/11, and the former president and COO of Raytheon will join Exxon Mobil’s board. The election of the two leaders grows the board to 13 members.

Exxon Mobil Corporation announced last week that Lawrence “Larry” W. Kellner and John D. Harris II have joined its board of directors. Kellner is the former president and CEO of Continental Airlines and currently serves as the chairperson of the board for the aerospace giant Boeing. Harris was the former president and COO of Raytheon International, a business unit of Raytheon Co. 

During Kellner’s time at Continental Airlines, he led a major turnaround in the industry’s downtown after 9/11, says Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer for Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Kellner’s leadership “helped make Continental a leader among major carriers,” the CEO said in a statement.“His experience in the airline industry comes with a focus on safety and will provide useful customer insights into many areas of strategic interest, including the role ExxonMobil can play in providing lower-emission fuel options for commercial transportation.”

In Harris’ 35-years at Raytheon, he served in various “complex, cross-functional roles,” Woods said. “He led significant business transformation to unlock value and new markets on an international scale and brings a rare understanding of the role of technology and government policy.”

Woods says the new directors deepen the diverse expertise of the board with their backgrounds at “large, complex, capital-intensive global companies” that have successfully made industry transitions. Exxon Mobil aims to grow shareholder value with a “thoughtful transition to a lower-emissions future, while providing the reliable energy and products the world needs,” he said.

Kellner, who is currently the CEO of Emerald Creek Group, a private equity firm headquartered in Austin, has a long history of leadership in dynamic markets. From 2004 to 2009, he was the chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Airlines, Inc., which had operations worldwide with 41,000 employees. He joined Continental in 1995 as CFO and was named COO in 2003.

He currently serves as the chair of the board for Boeing, previously serving as the CEO of Marriott International, Inc., and chairman of Sabre Corporation. He also served as director of Chubb Limited, Belden & Blake Corp., and Express Jet.

Harris currently serves on the public boards of Kyndryl Holdings, Cisco Systems, and Flex. Harris began his career in 1983 with the Raytheon Company and held various positions of growing responsibility over the years, including several vice president positions overseeing operations, contracts, supply chain, and electrical systems. and intelligence, information, and technical services.

In 2013, he was appointed CEO of Raytheon International, where he retired in 2020. During his long career at Raytheon, Harris has accumulated sales leadership experience. global sales, government relations, operations, development, and corporate governance, according to Exxon Mobil. He is also credited with restructuring and reorganizing the business development function from an organization focused on delivering products to an authority on building and business solutions.

With the election of Harris and Kellner, ExxonMobil’s board of directors has grown to 13 members, 12 of whom are independent, the company said. In recent years, the company has added expertise in climate science, the energy industry, asset and risk management, and allocated capital to the board.

One of the world’s largest publicly held multinational oil and gas companies, Exxon Mobil aims to develop solutions that improve quality of living and meets society’s evolving need for energy. The company has three main business lines: upstream, product solutions, and low-carbon solutions. 

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