Simply put, Lee Raymond built ExxonMobil into an oil powerhouse
He started his career at Standard Oil/Exxon in 1963 and worked his way up the ranks, becoming CEO of Exxon in 1993. He led the company through its 1999 merger with Mobil, making ExxonMobil the world's largest publicly held oil company at the time.
When Raymond retired in January 2006, ExxonMobil had annual revenue of $371 billion and net income of $36.1 billion, a record in U.S. corporate history. Exxon's earnings were greater than the combined profit of the next five largest public companies ranked by revenue. Investors cheered as ExxonMobil's stock soared about 300 percent during his time at the helm.
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Raymond is often recognized for his record of financial discipline and operational management as Exxon CEO, but he also saw the company through one of its most difficult periods. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez hit a reef off the Alaskan coast and spilled 11 million gallons of oil. Until BP's Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010, the Exxon Valdez disaster was the largest oil spill in history. The cleanup took three years.
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While there is constant debate today about the impact of regulation on the growth of the energy industry, the fact is that laws and regulations that were adopted in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill have likely prevented similar incidents from occurring, saving lives and preserving environments around the world.
Raymond led the company in the aftermath of one of the greatest corporate disasters of all time and helped it grow to be the world's largest publicly traded company.