(Adds detail, CEO comment)
May 27 (Reuters) - The complete makeup of Exxon Mobil’s board of directors might not be known until next week, the company said on Thursday, with votes being counted in the battle between it and an activist investor over its record on climate change.
Two seats on the 12-member board hang in the balance at the biggest U.S. oil producer following Wednesday’s shareholder meeting. Tiny hedge fund Engine No. 1 gained at least two seats on the Exxon board, a huge upset at a company that was once the world’s most valuable.
Eight of Exxon’s nominees, including Chief Executive Darren Woods were re-elected to its 12-member board of directors, along with two of Engine No. 1’s nominees, the company has said. But with the counting unfinished, Engine No. 1 could potentially see three of the four nominees it has put forward join the Exxon board.
“The vote process is up to the independent inspector,” said spokesman Casey Norton. “We think it may be next week before we know more.”
Exxon has more than 3 million shareholders and 4 billion shares outstanding.
The two Engine No. 1 nominees elected were Gregory Goff, a 64-year-old former top executive at Marathon Petroleum and Andeavor, and former Neste Oyj executive Kaisa Hietala.
Woods on Wednesday said he welcomed the new directors.
“With almost 3 million shareholders, it’s not surprising we heard a wide range of views, and many supported the work that we’re doing to improve earnings and cash flow capacity, as well as the work to advance the company to a lower carbon future,” Woods said.
The re-election of directors Steven Kandarian, Douglas Oberhelman, Samuel Palmisano and Wan Zulkiflee remains up in the air, based on the preliminary results released at the shareholder meeting. Alexander Karsner, one of Engine No. 1’s nominees, is still in the running, Exxon has said. (Reporting by Jennifer Hiller Editing by Barbara Lewis and Steve Orlofsky)