Dec 15, 2016 06:29 AM EST

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson To Become US Secretary Of State: Conflict Of Interest With Russia Abound, Tillerson's Early 'Retirement' In Question

By JC Santos

It would seem it is normal for US President-Elect Donald Trump to pick some interesting but prominent industry individuals to be part of his cabinet. This time, he has picked Exxon Mobil -- America's biggest oil comapny -- CEO Rex Tillerson to become US Secretary of State, which the latter immediately accepted. Many cite that he has immense conflict of interest as Exxon handles a multi-billion dollar deal with Russia and his early retirement is a clear violation of Exxon Mobil policy.

According to Wall Street Journal, Exxon Mobil had legalized Rex Tillerson's retirement last Wednesday. If he is allowed to cash out more than $175 million in stock compensation -- which under company policy is only allowed if you retire upon the age of 65 -- he will violate company policy.

Exxon Mobil and Russia are close when it comes to deals that involve vast amounts of oil profit. In 2011 and 2013, Exxon and Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft signed deals with each other to explore the Black Sea and develop oil projects in Siberia and Arctic. The Exxon-Russia deals were quickly halted after the Obama administration sanctioned Russia for its actions in Crimea in Eastern Ukraine.

According to New York Times, Rex Tillerson is a ruthless CEO who showed "willingness to cut a deal regardless of the political consequences." The news website recalled that Tillerson had reached out under the Iraq central government's nose into the leadership of the Kurdish administration to sign an oil deal. To put him in a position of power such as a US Secretary of State may mean he could further Exxon Mobil's ambitions but his early retirement -- and should he forfeit his Exxon holdings -- could soothe notions of building an oil empire.

US President-Elect Donald Trump's cabinet is as controversial as his policies on working Visas directly affecting numerous Indian IT companies and outsourcers. His plans to make American employment better by closing immigrant employment have been subject to controversy.

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