Exxon Mobil Corporation History

5959 Las Colinas Boulevard
Irving, Texas 75039

Telephone: (972) 444-1000
Fax: (972) 444-1350

Public Company
Incorporated: 1882 as Standard Oil Company of New Jersey
Employees: 88,300
Sales: $213.19 billion (2003)
Stock Exchanges: New York
Ticker Symbol: XOM
NAIC: 324110 Petroleum Refineries; 211111 Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction; 213112 Support Activities for Oil and Gas Field Exploration; 447110 Gasoline Stations with Convenience Stores

Company Perspectives:

To be successful, Exxon Mobil must be at the leading edge of competition in every aspect of our business. This requires that the corporation's substantial resources--financial, operational, technological, and human--be employed wisely and evaluated regularly. While we maintain flexibility to adapt to changing conditions, the nature of our business requires a focused, long-term approach. We will consistently strive to improve efficiency and productivity through learning, sharing and implementing best practices. We will be disciplined and selective in evaluating the range of capital investment opportunities available to us. We will seek to develop proprietary technologies that provide a competitive edge.

Key Dates:

John D. Rockefeller and Henry Flagler incorporate the Standard Oil Company.
Standard controls $33 million of the country's $35 million annual refining capacity.
Rockefeller reorganizes Standard Oil into a trust, creating Standard Oil Company of New Jersey as one of many regional corporations controlled by the trust.
Standard founds its first foreign affiliate, Anglo-American Oil Company, Limited.
The Sherman Antitrust Act is passed, in large part, in response to Standard's oil monopoly.
The trust has secured a quarter of the total oilfield production in the United States.
A lawsuit leads to dissolution of the trust; the renamed Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) becomes the main vessel of the Standard holdings.
Jersey becomes the sole holding company for all of the Standard interests.
The federal government files a suit against Jersey under the Sherman Antitrust Act, charging it with running a monopoly.
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a lower court conviction of the company and orders that it be separated into 34 unrelated companies, one of which continues to be called Standard Oil Company (New Jersey).
The Esso brand is used for the first time on the company's refined products.
The merger of Standard Oil Company of New York and Vacuum Oil Company creates Socony-Vacuum Corp., Mobil's immediate predecessor company.
A 30 percent interest in Arabian American Oil Company, and its vast Saudi Arabian oil concessions, is acquired.
The company gains a 7 percent stake in an Iranian oil production consortium.
Mobil Chemical Company is formed.
Mobil Oil Corporation becomes the official corporate title of Socony-Vacuum.
Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) changes its name to Exxon Corporation.
OPEC cuts off oil supplies to the United States.
Mobil Oil Corporation changes its name to Mobil Corporation.
Exxon's revenues exceed $100 billion because of the rapid increase in oil prices.
Mobil acquires Superior Oil Company for $5.7 billion, obtaining extensive reserves of oil and natural gas.
The crash of the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound off the port of Valdez, Alaska, releases about 260,000 barrels of crude oil.
Exxon's headquarters are moved from Rockefeller Center in New York City to Irving, Texas.
Federal jury finds company guilty of "recklessness" and orders it to pay $286.8 million in compensatory damages and $5 billion in punitive damages.
Exxon appeals the $5 billion punitive damages award; it reports profits of $8.46 billion on revenues of $120.28 billion for the year.
Exxon agrees to buy Mobil in one of the largest mergers in U.S. history.
Exxon and Mobil complete their $83 billion merger, forming Exxon Mobil Corporation.
Cost savings from the merger are tallied at $4.6 billion.
Rex Tillerson is appointed president of Exxon Mobil, leading observers to predict his appointment as chief executive officer upon Lee Raymond's retirement.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Abcede, Angel, "Mobil Opts for Caution with Transition from 'G' to 'C' Stores," National Petroleum News, January 1997.
  • Akin, Edward N., Flagler: Rockefeller Partner and Florida Baron, Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1988.
  • "Alabama Judge Reduces Exxon Mobil Ruling 70 Percent to $3.6 Billion," Dallas Morning News, March 30, 2004, p. B1.
  • Beatty, Sally, "Exxon-Mobil Is Marketing Dilemma," Wall Street Journal, December 3, 1998, p. B11.
  • A Brief History of Mobil, New York: Mobil Corporation, 1991.
  • Byrne, Harlan S., "Well-Oiled: Exxon Has Shaped Itself into a Nimble and Even More Formidable Giant," Barron's, May 20, 1996, pp. 17-18.
  • Caney, Derek, "Ethylene Snaps Back After Andrew," Chemical Marketing Reporter, September 7, 1992.
  • Caragata, Warren, "Union of Giants: Exxon and Mobil Create a Colossus," Maclean's, December 14, 1998, pp. 44-46.
  • Chernow, Ron, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., New York: Random House, 1998.
  • Cooper, Christopher, "Fears Linger on 10th Anniversary of Exxon Valdez Spill," Wall Street Journal, March 23, 1999, p. B4.
  • Cooper, Christopher, and Steve Liesman, "Exxon Agrees to Buy Mobil for $75.3 Billion," Wall Street Journal, December 2, 1998, p. A3.
  • Cropper, Carol M., et al., "The Forbes 500's Annual Directory," Forbes, April 27, 1992.
  • "Environmental Manager's Ethical Stand Vindicated," Environmental Manager, September 1992.
  • "ExxonMobil Opens Its 1,000th On the Run Site," National Petroleum News, April 2004, p. 61.
  • "Exxon-Mobil, Total-Petrofina Mergers Slated," Oil Gas Journal, December 7, 1998, pp. 37-38, 40-41.
  • "Exxon Unleashed," Business Week, April 9, 2001, p. 58.
  • Fan, Eliza, "Mobil Restructures Its Organization to Shift Power to Regional Managers," Oil Daily, June 4, 1996.
  • "Federal Appeals Court Overturns $4 Billion Ruling Against Exxon," Dallas Morning News, August 23, 2003, p. B2.
  • Finch, Peter, "The Business Week 1000," Business Week, special issue, 1992.
  • "Gas Dominates Exxon's Development Portfolio," Oil Daily, September 10, 2004.
  • Gibb, George Sweet, and Evelyn H. Knowlton, History of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey): The Resurgent Years, 1911-1927, New York: Harper Brothers, 1956.
  • Grabarek, Brooke H., "Exxon: Forget the Valdez," Financial World, September 27, 1994, p. 14.
  • Hedges, Stephen J., "The Cost of Cleaning Up," U.S. News World Report, August 30/September 6, 1993, pp. 26-28, 30.
  • Hidy, Ralph W., and Murrel E. Hidy, History of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey): Pioneering in Big Business, 1882-1911, New York: Harper Brothers, 1955.
  • "Hurricane Slams Gulf Operations," Oil & Gas Journal, September 7, 1992.
  • "Indonesia--Looking for Oil and Gas: As Explorations Step Up So Do Equipment Imports," East Asian Executive Reports, June 15, 1992.
  • "Industry Earnings Plunge from 1990 Level," Oil & Gas Journal, December 2, 1991.
  • "Inside the Empire of Exxon the Unloved," Economist, March 5, 1994, p. 69.
  • "Irani: Oxy Winds Up Restructuring Program; Murray, Mobil Discussing More Moves," Oil & Gas Journal, March 23, 1992.
  • Koen, A.D., "Hurricane Shuts Down Gulf Activity," Oil & Gas Journal, August 31, 1992.
  • Kopp, Wendy, "The ABCs of Raising Millions," Working Woman, June 1992.
  • Larson, Henrietta M., Evelyn H. Knowlton, and Charles S. Popple, History of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey): New Horizons, 1927-1950, New York: Harper Row, 1971.
  • Liesman, Steve, "Exxon Suspends Exploration in Russia," Wall Street Journal, August 19, 1999, p. A2.
  • Liesman, Steve, and John R. Wilke, "Exxon and Mobil Get Antitrust Approval in Europe for Their Planned Merger," Wall Street Journal, September 30, 1999, p. A4.
  • Longman, Phillip J., and Jack Egan, "Why Big Oil Is Getting a Lot Bigger," U.S. News World Report, December 14, 1998, pp. 26-28.
  • Mack, Toni, "Mobil's Great Challenge," Forbes, January 22, 1996.
  • ------, "The Tiger Is on the Prowl," Forbes, April 21, 1997, p. 42.
  • McCoy, Charles, "Exxon's Secret Valdez Deals Anger Judge," Wall Street Journal, June 13, 1996, p. A3.
  • Merolli, Paul, "Raymond Sees No Reason to Change Exxon," Oil Daily, March 11, 2004.
  • Michels, Antony, "Sailing Straight with Growth Stocks," Fortune, August 8, 1994.
  • "More U.S. Production Changes Hands," Oil & Gas Journal, July 20, 1992.
  • Nevins, Allan, Study in Power: John D. Rockefeller--Industrialist and Philanthropist, 2 vols., New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1953.
  • Norman, James R., "A Tale of Two Strategies," Forbes, August 17, 1992, p. 48.
  • "Oil Companies Report Sharply Lower Earnings," Chemical Marketing Reporter, April 27, 1992.
  • "Oil Majors Make Tough Decisions on Jobs, Assets," Chemical Marketing Reporter, July 13, 1992.
  • Pillar, Dan, "Exxon Mobil Leader Talks to Analysts About Annual Report," Forth Worth Star-Telegram, March 11, 2004, p. B4.
  • Raeburn, Paul, "It's Time to Put the Valdez Behind Us," Business Week, March 29, 1999, p. 90.
  • "Restructuring Still Rampant in U.S.," Oil & Gas Journal, July 13, 1992.
  • Richards, Bill, "Exxon Is Battling a Ban on an Infamous Tanker," Wall Street Journal, July 29, 1998, p. B1.
  • Rogers, Alison, "The Fortune 500: It Was the Worst of Years," Fortune, April 20, 1992.
  • Sampson, Anthony, The Seven Sisters: The Great Oil Companies and the World They Made, New York: Viking, 1975; New York: Bantam, 1991.
  • Solomon, Caleb, "Exxon Is Told to Pay $5 Billion for Valdez Spill," Wall Street Journal, September 19, 1994, p. A3.
  • ------, "Exxon Verdict Comes Amid Problems of Old Oil Fields, Few New Prospects," Wall Street Journal, September 19, 1994, p. A3.
  • ------, "Jury Decides Exxon Must Pay $286.8 Million," Wall Street Journal, August 12, 1994, p. A3.
  • ------, "Jury Finds Exxon Reckless in Oil Spill," Wall Street Journal, June 14, 1994, p. A3.
  • Sullivan, Allanna, "Exxon and Mobil Are Already Devising Their New Brand," Wall Street Journal, April 6, 1999, p. B4.
  • Tarbell, Ida M., The History of the Standard Oil Company, New York: Harper Row, 1966.
  • Teitelbaum, Richard, "Exxon: Pumping Up Profits," Fortune, April 28, 1997, pp. 134-36, 140-42.
  • "Tillerson Seen As Next CEO at Exxon Mobil," Oil Daily, March 1, 2004.
  • Wall, Bennett H., Growth in a Changing Environment: A History of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey), New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988.
  • Wilke, John R., and Steve Liesman, "Exxon, Mobil May Be Forced into Divestitures," Wall Street Journal, January 20, 1999, p. A3.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.67. St. James Press, 2005.