Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Exec's Excellent Expensive Exxon Exit: In two more or less simultaneous announcements, ExxonMobil revealed that it would be paying outgoing chairman Lee Raymond an impressive $400 million in retirement benefits and that it was donating $30 million to educational institutions.

I’m not going to comment on the obvious contradiction of a company that denies global warming funding science education—it’s like a Holocaust denies sponsoring a World War II museum—but I do wonder what would have happened had the two sums been reversed: I can’t imagine that Mr. Raymond’s post-Exxon life would have been appreciably less comfortable with a $30 million retirement, but I’m pretty sure $400 million could make a massive difference to schools in poorer communities across the United States.

I can’t help thinking that taken together, these two stories tell you everything you need to know about the value system of corporate America. (Steve Cody is equally unimpressed.)


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