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(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In a further blow to Exxon management, updated shareholder vote tallies showed that an activist investment firm scored a third board seat at the company's annual shareholder meeting on May 26, Exxon announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The hedge fund Engine No. 1, which owns less than 1% of Exxon's stock, succeeded in its bid to install board members who will push Exxon to more aggressively consider climate change in its business planning.

Details: The newest Engine No. 1-sponsored board member will be Alexander Karsner, a senior strategist at X (formerly Google X), which is Alphabet Inc.'s innovation lab. Karsner has experience as an energy investor and served a stint at the U.S. Energy Department.

  • Of the four candidates the activist fund nominated, only one, former wind energy executive Anders Runevad, didn't make it onto the board.
  • The fund succeeded in its efforts in large part because of the backing of institutional investors, such as State Street and BlackRock, that are major shareholders. The company's uneven financial performance over several years and other factors also came into play.
  • Exxon's management had mounted a vigorous campaign right up to the vote to defeat Engine No. 1's candidates.

What they're saying: A spokesperson for Engine No. 1 said in a statement: “We are grateful for shareholders’ careful consideration of our nominees and are excited that these three individuals will be working with the full board to help better position ExxonMobil for the long-term benefit of all shareholders.”

Darren Woods, Exxon's chairman and CEO, welcomed the board members in a statement, and referenced the climate issue.

  • “We look forward to working with all of our directors to build on the progress we’ve made to grow long-term shareholder value and succeed in a lower-carbon future,” Woods said. “We thank all shareholders for their engagement and participation, and their ongoing support for our company.”

Of note: Exxon is widely viewed as being more enthusiastic about the continued global thirst for fossil fuels looking forward when compared to European-based oil majors, such as Shell and BP.

  • The Texas-based company is still developing new oil and gas resources, including a massive project off the coast of Guyana.
  • Meanwhile, a report released by the International Energy Agency on May 15 found that to limit global warming to the Paris agreement target of 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, no new oil and gas projects should be "approved for development."

Go deeper: Big Oil's climate earthquake

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Science

NTSB probes crash that killed 10 in Alabama as storm lashes Southeast

Flash-flooding in Bloomington, Indiana, on Saturday. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Sunday that it's investigating a fiery multi-vehicle weekend crash in Alabama that killed 10 people, including nine children, as storms swept the Southeast.

The big picture: Saturday's crash on Interstate 65, south of Montgomery, occurred amid a tropical depression that left 13 people dead in Alabama as it triggered flash floods and spawned tornadoes that razed "dozens of homes" over the weekend, per AP.

Laurel Hubbard to become 1st openly trans athlete to compete at Olympics

New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, when she became the first openly transgender athlete to represent NZ. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has announced that Laurel Hubbard has been selected for the women's weightlifting team for the Tokyo Games — making her the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the event.

The big picture: Hubbard, 43, is part of a five-member Kiwi weightlifting team and will compete in the women's super heavyweight category. Meanwhile, BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe will become the first openly trans athlete to travel to the Olympics with Team USA, when she arrives in Tokyo as a reserve rider.

American Airlines cuts hundreds of flights amid demand surge

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

American Airlines announced Sunday that it's cutting some 950 flights from its schedule, including 296 this weekend, to reduce potential pressure on its operations, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

Driving the news: The U.S. vaccine rollout has led to a massive increase in travel bookings. The airline noted in an emailed statement that it's facing an "incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand."

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