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CEO Spotlight: Rex Tillerson

The chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil on his proudest moment.
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Alma Mater

The University of Texas at Austin (B.S.-Civil Engineering)

Why I Love My Job

The real highlight of anyone in my position is seeing the organization take on challenges and continue to be successful and excel.

Best Advice

Show up on time. Work hard. Be willing to do what is asked of you. And view every opportunity as a learning experience.

Proud Moment

Domestically, I am proud of the acquisition of XTO with its many talented people, as well as the way in which ExxonMobil is now helping to lead the remarkable shale oil and gas revolution. Internationally, one of the projects I take a lot of pride in is the Sakhalin 1 project in sub-arctic Russia. Technically, it is a marvel.

Looking Ahead

I stand in awe of what our engineers and scientists do today. And 10 years from now, they’ll be doing things we can’t even imagine.

Fun Fact

When I was 14 years old, I became a bus boy in the student union building at Oklahoma State University. Two years later, I became a janitor and was assigned to one of the engineering buildings. I swept floors, dumped trash, polished the linoleum floors, and cleaned the bathrooms. It helped reinforce the dignity and value of honest work. It also gave me my first exposure to engineers doing research and solving problems.

Hobby or Passion

My wife Renda and I have a horse farm and raise cutting horses. Although I married into the world of horses, I love being out with them.

Car I Drive

Between the farm and the ranch, we own five pickup trucks, so I’m usually driving one of those.

Beverage of Choice

Jack Daniel’s, on the rocks.

This Q&A is extended content from the Dallas 500, a special edition produced by D CEO that profiles the region’s most influential business leaders. Visit for details.

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