Darren W. Woods (born 1964/65) is an American businessman, and the chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman of ExxonMobil since January 1, 2017.
Early life and education
Woods was born in Wichita, Kansas. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, followed by an MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management.
Woods joined Exxon in 1992. He had worked for Exxon for 24 years prior to being promoted to CEO following Rex Tillerson's nomination by President Donald Trump to be the next United States Secretary of State. While his predecessor was involved in dealmaking and exploration, Woods is a veteran of the refining side of the oil business. Prior to becoming CEO, Woods ran the refining and chemical divisions of the company, which delivered the majority of ExxonMobil's $7.8 billion net income in 2016.
At an investor meeting in New York in 2017, Woods outlined his growth plan including drilling in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico and the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota. He also spoke briefly about the company's operations in Russia, expressing an optimistic outlook regarding Exxon's Sakhalin project on Russia’s eastern coast.
Woods has publicly endorsed the Paris climate accord. The accord commits nations to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. In May 2017, Woods wrote a personal letter to President Donald Trump to urge that the U.S. remain a party to the agreement. He says that by remaining a party to the accords the U.S. will have a seat at the table to "ensure a level playing field" and support "the most cost-effective greenhouse gas reduction options".
He has said that the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has "shattered the Peak Oil myth".