All his life, Darren Woods has talked about looking at the same thing from several perspectives. In an interview with Forbes, Darren quoted,’People who work for me know that I talk most about challenging the paradigm’. The paradigm woods is referring to is the increasing concerns of greenhouse gasses and climate change. Woods claims that, while something needs to be done, leaving fossil fuels unearthed is not the best course of action. From this example alone, it is more than enough to say what kind of person he is. An enigmatic leader, Wood now serves as the CEO of ExxonMobil. In this article, we take a closer look at the wiki-bio of Darren Woods.
Darren W. Woods
Date of birth
Place of birth
Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Joined Exxon in 1992 as a planning analyst, became vice president of Exxon Mobil Corporation in 2012, elected Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil in January 2017.
Over $20 million per year
Area of expertise
Refining and chemical divisions of the oil business.
Drilling in the Permian Basin and the Bakken shale formation, expanding operations in Russia’s Sakhalin project.
Views on peak oil
Believes that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have “shattered the Peak Oil myth”.
Views on climate change
Supports the Paris climate accord, urges the U.S. to remain a party to the agreement, says ExxonMobil is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Awards and honors
Hobbies and interests
He is a private person who does not reveal much about his hobbies and interests.
Darren Woods was born in 1965 in Wichita, Kansas. Born in a military family, Woods followed his father all around the states and abroad. Even though woods first hated having to relocate, his father wanted to make sure everyone in the family stuck together. Growing up, Woods attended a local high school in Kansas and enrolled at Texas A&M University. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, Woods enrolled at the Kellogg School of Management and graduated with an MBA.
Wood has not yet revealed as to what he was doing before joining Exxon. He joined the multinational company in 1992 and is now nearing 31-years at the company. Darren served as a planning analyst for quite a while before being promoted to the post of Vice President of the ExxonMobil chemical company. He assumed office in 2005 and looked after the international chemical business. From 2008, Darren took on the workload of the company director of refining for ExxonMobil Refining and supply for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Darren continued to climb the corporate ladder, and in 2010, he was appointed as the vice president of supply and transportation. Even though he was stationed in Virginia at first, he was quickly called back to the HQ in 2012, with an added responsibility of the vice president of ExxonMobil Corporation. He was later promoted to the position of Senior Vice President and continued to serve the company. Darren finally got his big break on the 1st of January 2016, when he was appointed as the President of Exxon Mobil Corporation.And in 2017, he was also appointed as chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, after his predecessor, Rex W. Tillerson, was nominated by the President Donald Trump to be the United States Secretary of State.
As the leader of ExxonMobil, Woods has faced many challenges and opportunities in the dynamic and competitive energy industry. He has championed innovation and technology as key drivers of growth and efficiency, investing in projects such as the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota, and the Sakhalin project on Russia’s eastern coast. He has also advocated for environmental responsibility and sustainability, endorsing the Paris climate accord and urging the U.S. to remain a party to it. He has said that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have “shattered the Peak Oil myth”, and that ExxonMobil is committed to finding “the most cost-effective greenhouse gas reduction options”.
Brushing with policymakers
Woods wrote a letter to the White-house opposing the decision of US President Donald Trump to leave the Paris Climate Accord. He claimed that the US needs to be in the table to discuss the most cost-effective ways of challenging the greenhouse problem.
But this is not the only time when Woods has brushed with the US presidency. Woods voiced his opinion against putting restrictions on trade with Russia.
Controversies and Rumors
As the head of one of the most influential and profitable corporations in the world, Woods has also been involved in controversies and rumors related to his role and actions.
One of the most recent controversies that Woods faced was his testimony before the US Congress on October, 2021. He was accused of lying about climate science and covering up ExxonMobil’s own research that showed the harmful effects of burning fossil fuels on global warming. He was also questioned about ExxonMobil’s funding of trade groups that lobby against environmental regulations and initiatives. Woods denied any inconsistency or deception by ExxonMobil and defended the company’s long-term strategy and investments in low-emission energy projects.
Another controversy that Woods faced was the White House’s call for an investigation of “anti-consumer behavior” by oil and gas companies on November, 2021. President Joe Biden asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into possible illegal conduct by the industry, such as price gouging, market manipulation, or collusion. Biden said there was “mounting evidence” that oil and gas companies were profiting from high gas prices while consumers suffered. Woods responded to this call by saying that it was unwarranted and that gas prices were determined by supply and demand in a commodity market. He also said that similar investigations in the past had found nothing.
A rumor that has been circulating about Woods is that he might be replaced as ExxonMobil’s CEO by another executive. Some analysts and investors have speculated that Woods could be ousted by the board of directors or pressured to resign due to the environmental challenges, and shareholder activism. However, there is no official confirmation or evidence of this rumor, and Woods has not indicated any intention to step down from his position. He has said that he is confident in ExxonMobil’s future and its ability to deliver value to its stakeholders.
Darren Woods has a net worth of $90 million, mostly from his salary, bonuses, stock awards, and dividends from ExxonMobil. He has been with the company for 25 years and has led it since 2017. He supports the Paris climate agreement and invests in low-emission energy projects.
Darren Woods is married to Kathryn Woods and the pair have been together for quite a while. The pair met during Darren’s time at University and started dating soon after. The pair have three children and the family currently lives in Texas.