January 14, 2016
DALLAS (SMU) —The Maguire Energy Institute at SMU Cox School of Business honored Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation, with the L. Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award at a luncheon ceremony Jan. 14, at the Cox School’s Collins Center.
The Energy Leadership Award committee selected Tillerson, who has helped steer ExxonMobil through four decades of dynamic growth, as this year’s honoree because he represents the spirit of entrepreneurship, ethical leadership and energy industry innovation personified by L. Frank Pitts, the late oilman for whom the energy award is named. Proceeds from the awards luncheon will support both the Maguire Energy Institute and scholarships for students seeking to pursue energy industry careers.
“The Institute is proud to honor Rex Tillerson with this prestigious award,” said Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute. “As CEO of the largest publicly-traded oil company in the world, Rex has been a transformative leader for our industry and for ExxonMobil. His efforts since taking the helm at ExxonMobil in 2006 serve as a benchmark for this industry in how to operate a company with integrity, deliver outstanding returns to shareholders no matter the price environment, and push the envelope of new technologies for the future.”
A native of Wichita Falls, Tillerson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering at the University of Texas at Austin in 1975. After working as a production engineer with Exxon Company U.S.A., he became general manager of the company’s central production division in 1989, where he was responsible for oil and gas production operations throughout a large portion of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. He was named production advisor to Exxon Corporation in 1992.
Tillerson later served as vice president of Exxon Yemen, Inc. and Esso Exploration and Production Khorat, Inc. In 1998, he became vice president of Exxon Ventures (CIS), Inc. and president of Exxon Neftegas Limited, where he was responsible for Exxon’s holdings in Russia and the Caspian Sea, and the Sakhalin I consortium operation offshore Sakhalin Island, Russia. In 1999, Tillerson became executive vice president of ExxonMobil Development Company and was named senior vice president of Exxon Mobil Corporation in 2001. He was elected president of the corporation and a member of the board of directors in 2004, and assumed his current position in 2006.
Beyond ExxonMobil, Tillerson also impacts the industry through his service as a member of the executive committee and former chair of the American Petroleum Institute, and as a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He serves as a trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and as a member of the National Petroleum Council. Tillerson is a member of the Business Roundtable, the Business Council, an honorary trustee of the Business Council for International Understanding, and is also a member of the Emergency Committee for American Trade. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2013.
His community service extends beyond the energy industry as the vice chair of the Ford’s Theatre Society, a past national president of the Boy Scouts of America and a former director of the United Negro College Fund. Tillerson is a member of the Chancellor’s Council, Development Board and the Engineering Advisory Board for the University of Texas at Austin, which named him as a distinguished alumnus in 2007. Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts honored Tillerson with an honorary doctorate engineering degree in 2011.
Tillerson is the sixth recipient of the L. Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award. The first award was presented in 2010 to Ray L. Hunt, chairman and CEO of Hunt Oil Company and chairman, CEO and president of Hunt Consolidated, Inc. The 2011 recipient was J. Larry Nichols, now retired co-founder and executive chairman of Devon Energy Corporation. Mark Papa, now retired chairman and CEO of EOG Resources, Inc., received the award in 2012. Scott Sheffield, chairman and CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources Company, was the 2013 honoree. In December 2014, the Pitts Award was presented to David Miller, co-founder and managing partner of EnCap Investments, L.P.
The L. Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award was created in 2010 to honor the legacy of Texas oilman and independent oil and natural gas producer L. Frank Pitts, who participated in the drilling of more than 3,000 wells over almost seven decades. The late oilman served as a member of the Maguire Energy Institute Advisory Board. Pitts’ daughter, Linda Pitts Custard, is a former member of the SMU Board of Trustees and an alumna of SMU Cox, and she serves on the Award Event Committee for the Pitts Energy Leadership Award Luncheon.
The annual Pitts Energy Leadership Award event serves as a fundraiser to support the Maguire Energy Institute, named in honor of oilman and co-founder Cary M. Maguire, as well as MBA and BBA scholarships for students with degree concentrations in energy. A portion of the proceeds raised by this year’s event will help support the educational goals of Omaha, Nebraska native Charles Landen who will complete his BBA in Finance with a concentration in Energy Finance in May and Chase Garrett, of Dallas, who will complete his MBA in Energy Finance, also in May.
Landen is a BBA Scholar, a member of the EnCap Investments and LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center Program and a fund manager in the Maguire Energy Institute’s Mustang Spindletop Fund, as well as an active member of the BBA Energy Club at SMU Cox. After he graduates, he will be working in investment banking with Credit-Suisse Energy Group in Houston. Garrett is the president of the MBA Energy Club and recently led a team of five SMU Cox MBAs in the eleventh annual National Energy Finance Challenge case competition, which won first place. He plans to pursue energy banking.
About SMU Cox
The Cox School of Business, originally established in Dallas in 1920 on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and was named in honor of benefactor Edwin L. Cox in 1978. SMU Cox offers a full range of highly-ranked undergraduate and graduate business education programs: BBA, Full-Time MBA, Fast Track MBA, Professional MBA (PMBA), Executive MBA (EMBA), JD/MBA, MA/MBA, Master of Science (MS) in Accounting, MS in Business Analytics, MS in Finance, MS in Management, MS in Sport Management, as well as Executive Education and multiple certificate programs. The school also offers a number of unique resources and activities for students, including the Business Leadership Center (BLC); the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship; the Folsom Institute for Real Estate; the Maguire Energy Institute; the Global Leadership Program; and the Associate Board Executive Mentoring Program, as well as an international alumni network with chapters in more than 20 countries.