The descendants of John Rockefeller are trying to steer their great grandfather’s company away from the dinosaur mentality that has tarred the image of world’s largest corporation.
This week, a number of the Rockefeller clan will be supporting shareholder resolutions aimed at forcing Exxon Mobil take the issue of climate change much more seriously, study it’s effects on the developing world and explore alternative fuel sources.
“Exxon Mobil needs to reconnect with the forward-looking and entrepreneurial vision of my great-grandfather,” Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, a Tufts University economist, said in a statement to reporters.
“The truth is that Exxon Mobil is profiting in the short term from investments and decisions made many years ago, and by focusing on a narrow path that ignores the rapidly shifting energy landscape around the world,” she added.
Exxon Mobil is seen by many as having the worst corporate record in dealing constructively with climate change. They have been dubbed by Greenpeace the “the world’s number one climate criminal ” stating that they have “done more than any other company to stop the world from tackling climate change”.
They were also implicated by the Union of Concerned scientists of funding a Big Tobacco-style PR campaign to misinform the public on climate science.
Given that the family of J. D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil, now Exxon Mobil are seeking to shove this company into the 21st century, who is left to oppose progress at the world’s biggest company?
Things must be getting pretty lonely for the few holdouts still maintaining that the company policies are defendable in the court of public opinion.
One wonders what J. D. Rockefeller would have thought of this whole thing. On one hand, he was well known as a ruthless businessman who once said “Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It's to see my dividends coming in.”
On the other hand he is also credited with stating : “I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money's sake.”
Perhaps the senior executives opposing these important resolutions should reflect on the words of J.D. Sometimes, it is only your family that can tell you when you are really screwing up.