Corporate Boards Are Not Leading Companies Where They Need To Go

Tensie Whelan

By Tensie Whelan

By Tensie Whelan

As it reported its fourth straight quarterly loss yesterday, Exxon tried to deflect a growing shareholder revolt by adding an independent board member and announcing investments in low-carbon technology.

The move was widely seen as too little, too late.

The oil company’s leadership has long adopted a “head in the sand” approach to climate change and shifting market and regulatory trends, actively opposing reporting and management of climate-related risk and eschewing a proactive low-carbon transition strategy that would ensure the company’s long-term survival. The lack of leadership has prompted investors to try and shake up Exxon’s board. Activist hedge fund Engine No. 1 has nominated four new board members who have expertise in moving to a low-carbon future (see, “There’s a new impact sheriff in town: activist hedge funds“).

Read the full ImpactAlpha article.
Tensie Whelan is a Clinical Professor of Business and Society and Director of the Center for Sustainable Business.