Dear Mr. Tillerson,
As an ExxonMobil employee of 33 years (now retired) I am proud to see you selected and approved as the Secretary of State of the United States.
You may not remember me, but I remember you. Around the year 2000, when you were Executive VP of ExxonMobil Development Company, I was part of a team that presented a well to you that we were preparing to drill in Angola. I showed up early to the meeting and to my surprise, you were in the room. As I walked in the room, you stood up, introduced yourself to me, and shook my hand. We exchanged pleasantries and you proceeded to put me at ease with a delightful personal discussion.
When I heard that you were nominated for the position of SoS, I was not only proud that a fellow XOM employee was recognized for so great a mission, but I knew that President Trump had picked the right man. You confirmed that for me today, when you addressed your State Department team, and told them that the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning is the safety of your employees. That was music to my ears.
It was always that way during my career at ExxonMobil. As you well know, safety is a culture that is developed, not a slogan that is easily bandied about. Whether it was continual abandon ship drills or fire drills on deepwater offshore rigs, or being met with an armor-plated van in Lagos, Nigeria, or a wellsite that was guarded by anti-aircraft guns in Mozambique, or evacuating us safely from a coup in Chad, or ensuring we had the latest anti-malarial meds, or continually hammering us to take these principles home and share them with our family, Exxon always had our back.
I hope your new team understands that when you talk about their safety; and having their back, that you mean what you say.
Good luck sir.