Lee Raymond

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Lee Raymond
Premiados hutchison y raymond.jpg
Raymond on the left of Kay Bailey Hutchison, both won Woodrow Wilson Awards
Born (1938-08-13) August 13, 1938 (age 80)
Watertown, South Dakota, US
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Minnesota.
Occupation former Chairman & CEO, Exxon Mobil
Predecessor Lawrence G. Rawl
Successor Rex Tillerson
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Charlene
Children 3[1]

Lee R. Raymond (born August 13, 1938) is an American businessman, and the chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman of ExxonMobil from 1999 to 2005. He had previously been the CEO of Exxon since 1993. He joined the company in 1963 and has been president since 1987, and a director since 1984.

Early life and education[edit]

Lee Raymond was born in Watertown, South Dakota on August 13, 1938. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1956. Raymond received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1960. Raymond went on to earn his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the same university in 2001. Raymond met his wife, Charlene née Hocevar, while studying at the University of Wisconsin–Madison; she was pursuing, and later earned a degree in journalism.


Raymond began working for Exxon in 1963. Raymond became a director of Exxon in 1984 and in 1987 he became the President of the company. In 1993, he became CEO succeeding Lawrence G. Rawl and held this post until 2005. He negotiated the merger with Mobil that became effective in 1999 and gave birth to the new ExxonMobil company. In 2003, when approaching the age of 65, the mandatory retirement age for executives at ExxonMobil, the board of directors requested him to stay in his position two more years, in order to prepare his succession, after the post-merger reorganisation period. On August 14, 2005, Raymond announced that he would retire at the end of 2005 as ExxonMobil's Chairman and CEO, two years later than the usual mandatory retirement age of 65 for the company executives. ExxonMobil president Rex W. Tillerson succeeded Raymond on 1 January 2006. On April 14, 2006, it was reported that Raymond's retirement package was worth about $400 million, the largest in history for a U.S. public company.[2] However, the majority of that sum consisted of retirement-independent salary, bonuses, stock options, and restricted stock awards from his final year and prior years that, while high, are not unprecedented among major American CEOs. Retirement-specific payments in accordance with the standard pension plan provided to all ExxonMobil employees totaled around $100 million, calculated based on his over forty years of service and his salary upon retirement. Raymond was also chair of the National Petroleum Council (NPC), when it was asked to produce a report on the future of oil supply and demand.[3] Raymond was one of the most outspoken executives in the United States against regulation to curtail global warming.[4]


Lee Raymond was at the helm of Exxon while it remained one of the last large companies to omit gay employees in its anti-discrimination policy. He was also at the helm during the takeover of Mobil, when the new Exxon-Mobil corporation rescinded Mobil's pre-existing anti-discrimination policy.[5] After Raymond's 2005 exit, HR policy was eventually updated in 2015 to include a prohibition on discrimination against gay employees, but from 1999-2014 the board annually rejected a resolution brought by shareholders to compel the company to implement a non-discrimination policy.[6]

Raymond was also one of the few Fortune 500 CEOs to publicly speak against the Kyoto Protocol. He questioned the science behind global warming, and warned that regulations would be ineffective.

Steve Coll describes Raymond, as "notoriously skeptical about climate change and disliked government interference at any level".[7]

His son, John T. Raymond, is active in the oil and gas industry. John partnered with the Jim Flores and Paul Allen-backed Vulcan Capital in the buyout of Plains Resources.[8]

Lee Raymond received the Woodrow Wilson Award from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution for Corporate Citizenship during a dinner held in his honor in Dallas, Texas in early 2003.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Lee R. Raymond". ReferenceForBusiness.com. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Kamala Harris grew up idolizing lawyers". ABC News. April 14, 2006. 
  3. ^ David J. Lynch (November 24, 2005). "Can oil production satisfy rising demand?". USA Today. 
  4. ^ Thaddeus Herrick (August 29, 2001). "Exxon CEO Lee Raymond's Stance On Global Warming Causes a Stir". The Wall Street Journal. 
  5. ^ James B. Stewart (July 1, 2015). "Exxon Lumbers Along to Catch Up With Gay Rights". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Wright, John. "ExxonMobil shareholders vote down LGBT protections". Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  7. ^ Ian Thompson (July 30, 2012). "Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power". The Telegraph. London. 
  8. ^ http://www.petroleumnews.com/pnnew/363756239.html Petroleum News

External links[edit]

Articles by Lee Raymond


Business positions
Preceded by
position created
CEO of ExxonMobil
November 30, 1999–December 31, 2005
Succeeded by
Rex Tillerson
Preceded by
Lawrence G. Rawl
CEO of Exxon
1993–November 30, 1999
Succeeded by
Continued as head of ExxonMobil