ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson speaks during the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris

Critics ask if Tillerson can turn from corporate to national interest

ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson speaks during the 26th World Gas Conference in ParisBy Valerie Volcovici and Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The central question facing Exxon Mobile Corp. chief executive Rex Tillerson if he becomes U.S. secretary of state is whether a life-long oil man with close ties to Russia can pivot from advancing corporate interests to serving the national interest. Tillerson, 64, got his start as a production engineer at Exxon in 1975 and has worked there ever since, running business units in Yemen, Thailand and Russia before being named chief executive in 2006. Critics suggested that if President-elect Donald Trump were to choose Tillerson – as a source familiar with the situation said he was expected to do – it would continue a trend of selecting some aides who may favor a softer line toward Moscow.

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