11 Dec 2016

Exxon boss to be named US secretary of state - NBC

8:37 am on 11 December 2016

United States President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Exxon chief executive Rex Tillerson to be the next Secretary of State, American news network NBC is reporting.

Chairman and CEO of US oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, speaks during the 2015 Oil and Money conference in central London on October 7.

US oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil chairman and chief executive Rex Tillerson Photo: AFP

Mr Tillerson, 64, emerged on Friday as Mr Trump's leading candidate for the secretary of state role and met with him on Saturday morning, a transition official told Reuters.

The transition official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Mr Tillerson had moved ahead in Mr Trump's deliberations over 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who had met the incoming leader twice including at a dinner in New York.

A former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, had also been mentioned as a possible nominee for the job but his foreign business dealings raised questions over his suitability and he has now ruled himself out of contention.

As Exxon chief executive, Mr Tillerson oversees operations in more than 50 countries including Russia.

In 2011, Exxon Mobil signed a deal with Rosneft, Russia's largest state-owned oil company, for joint oil exploration and production.

Since then, the companies have formed 10 joint ventures for projects in Russia.

NBC News cited two sources close to the transition team in reporting that Mr Tillerson would be named as secretary of state.

Mr Trump's campaign was not immediately able to confirm the selection.

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