Breakingviews: Tillerson would take more bad than good to State

Kevin Allison
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and then-Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson shake hands at a signing ceremony of an agreement between state-controlled Russian oil company Rosneft and Exxon Mobil corporation at the Black Sea port of Tuapse, southern Russia, June 15, 2012.
Mikhail Klimentyev | RIA-Novosti | Presidential Press Service | AP

Rex Tillerson would bring more bad than good to the U.S. State Department. The Exxon chief executive's global dealmaking means he's already a diplomat of sorts. But his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his cronies would make him an inflammatory pick as secretary of state.

Tillerson, who took the top job at Exxon in 2006 after coming up through the company ranks, has never worked in government. Now among President-elect Donald Trump's favorites for the United States' top diplomatic post, he does bring some relevant skills. As CEO, Tillerson forged relationships with governments in dozens of countries where the $360 billion crude producer does business.