Who Owns Exxon Mobil: The Largest Shareholders Overview

Article Teaser: Who Owns Exxon Mobil: The Largest Shareholders Overview

Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) is the largest private energy company in the world. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefellers’s Standard Oil. It makes money mainly from oil and gas extraction and subsequent refinement. Let’s examine who owns Exxon Mobil and who controls it.

Exxon Mobil’s largest shareholders are asset manager giant Vanguard, which owns a 9.0% share, followed by another asset manager giant BlackRock with a 7.2%) ownership, and asset manager State Street with a 5.5% share.

 Exxon Mobil's Largest Shareholders (Dec 2022)
Shareholder Ownership Voting Power
Vanguard 9.0% 9.0%
BlackRock 7.2% 7.2%
State Street 5.5% 5.5%
Other 78.3% 78.3%
Listed are shareholders holding >5% of any share class or notable in other ways
   Source: Multiple SEC filings

Who ows Exxon Mobil vs who controls it chart

In this article, I will dive more into who owns Exxon Mobil and who controls it. I will show you who Exxon Mobil’s largest shareholders are, how many shares and votes they have, and how much their stake is worth.

If you are interested, you can also explore who owns other companies like Tesla, Apple, PayPal, Berkshire Hathaway, Shell, and other articles about who owns who.

📃 Who Owns Exxon Mobil?

Who owns Exxon Mobil, largest shareholders donut chart

Exxon Mobil is owned by its shareholders. The largest ones are asset manager giant Vanguard, which owns 9.0% of the company, followed by asset manager giant BlackRock with a 7.2% ownership share, and asset manager State Street with 5.5% ownership.

No shareholder has dominant ownership in the company. Exxon Mobil’s ownership is dispersed, and the largest owners are asset managers who invest money on behalf of their clients.

  • It is not surprising to see Vanguard and BlackRock among the top shareholders. They are the largest asset managers worldwide, and it is common to see them among the top shareholders of large public companies.
  • Seeing State Street with over 5% ownership is less common, thanks to its smaller assets under management.

Exxon Mobil was founded in 1911 by breaking up John D. Rockefeller Standard Oil and has been a publicly on NYSE since their merger of Exxon and Mobil in 1999 (Ticker: XOM).

  • Exxon Mobil’s history is quite interesting since it is a direct descendant of John. D. Rockefellers Standard Oil, which was broken up in 1911. But two of the resulting companies, Exxon and Mobil, merged again in 1999 to form Exxon Mobil.
  • Standard Oil Company was formed in 1870, but I consider the start of Exxon Mobile to be the year 1911, when Standard Oil was broken down to Standard Oil of New Jersey (Jersey Standard), later known as Exxon and Standard Oil of New York, that later became “Mobil” and many other companies.
  • The company has been publicly traded as Exxon Mobil since its merger in 1999, but Mobile and Exxon were public companies before the mergers.

Exxon Mobil Corporation is incorporated in the State of New Jersey (US), and its headquarters are in Irving, Texas (US).

At one time, Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway had a sizable stake in Exxon Mobil. However, it does not own a stake anymore.

🎮 Who Controls Exxon Mobil (XOM)?

Who controls Exxon Mobil, largest shareholders donut chart

Exxon Mobil’s shareholders with the largest voting power are asset manager giant Vanguard, which holds 9.0% of all votes, followed by asset manager giant BlackRock with 7.2% voting power, and asset manager State Street (5.5%).

Exxon Mobil has only one class of outstanding shares, with one vote per share. Therefore, there is no difference between the shareholder’s ownership and voting power.

The ownership of Exxon Mobil Corporation is quite dispersed, and the main shareholders are asset managers investing money on behalf of their clients. None of them control the company individually, but together they have a big influence.

Exxon Mobil’s dispersed ownership creates conflicts of interest between Exxon Mobil’s management, asset manager’s management, and the ultimate underlying investors that asset managers represent. In situations like these, insiders of the large asset manager shareholders and insiders of the company hold significant power over it.

Exxon Mobil’s insiders that have influence over the company are CEO and chairman Darren Woods and other board members and executives.

  • Exxon Mobil currently has a 13-member board of directors.
  • Nobody from the board of directors or executive officers holds more than 0.05% share of Exxon Mobil’s stocks.
  • The previous chairman and CEO was Rex Tillerson, who was later Secretary of State during the Trump administration.

🗳️ Breakdown of Exxon Mobil’s Outstanding Shares and Votes by Top Shareholders

Exxon Mobil Corporation had a total of 4,082 million outstanding shares as of December 2022. The following table shows how many shares each Exxon Mobil’s large shareholder holds.

 Exxon Mobil's Outstanding Shares by Shareholder
In millions of shares as of December 2022
Shareholder Class A Total % Share
Vanguard 369 369 9.0%
BlackRock 292 292 7.2%
State Street 224 224 5.5%
Other 3,198 3,198 78.3%
Total (# millions) 4,082 4,082 100.0%
Listed are shareholders holding >5% of any share class or notable in other ways
   Source: Multiple SEC filings

There were 4,082 million votes distributed among shareholders of Exxon Mobil Corporation. The table below shows the total number of votes for each large shareholder.

 Exxon Mobil's Vote Control by Shareholder
In millions of votes as of December 2022
Shareholder Class A Total % Share
Vanguard 369 369 9.0%
BlackRock 292 292 7.2%
State Street 224 224 5.5%
Other 3,198 3,198 78.3%
Total (# millions) 4,082 4,082 100.0%
Listed are shareholders holding >5% of any share class or notable in other ways
   Source: Multiple SEC filings

💵 Breakdown of Exxon Mobil’s Market Value by Shareholder

The following table summarizes how much is each shareholder’s stake in Exxon Mobil Corporation worth.

However, keep in mind that a stake in Exxon Mobil could be just one part of their portfolio, and their total worth could be bigger, thanks to other investments. It could also be lower if they have debts.

 Exxon Mobil's Market Value by Shareholder
Market value in billions $ as of December 2022
Shareholder Class A Total % Share
Vanguard $40.7 $40.7 9.0%
BlackRock $32.2 $32.2 7.2%
State Street $24.7 $24.7 5.5%
Other $352.7 $352.7 78.3%
Total ($ billions) $450.2 $450.2 100.0%
Listed are shareholders holding >5% of any share class or notable in other ways
   Source: Multiple SEC filings

Let’s now look at each Exxon Mobil shareholder individually.

📒 Who Are Exxon Mobil’s Largest Shareholders?

Let’s now go through the list of the largest shareholders of Exxon Mobil Corporation one by one and look at who they are, how many shares they own, what is their voting power, and how much is their stake in Exxon Mobil worth.

#1 Vanguard (9.0%)

Vanguard's share ownership and voting power in Exxon Mobil (chart)

Vanguard is the largest shareholder of Exxon Mobil, owning 9.0% of its shares. As of December 2022, the market value of Vanguard’s stake in Exxon Mobil was $40.7 billion.

Vanguard owned 369 million shares in Exxon Mobil and controlled 369 million shareholder votes as of December 2022.

Vanguard (The Vanguard Group) is one of the largest asset managers in the world. It manages other people’s money through its mutual funds and exchange-traded funds and also offers other related investing and financial planning services.

Vanguard differs from other large asset managers by having no actual “owner .” Officially Vanguard says that its investors own it since its funds own it, and Vanguard fund investors own those funds.

However, the actual decision power is in the hands of Vanguard’s insiders since the ownership is diluted over millions of investors worldwide.

Vanguard has significant influence over the largest public companies. Thanks to its size, Vanguard usually belongs to the largest shareholders in those companies and has considerable power at their shareholder meetings. This is especially true if ownership is diluted.

#2 BlackRock (7.2%)

BlackRock's share ownership and voting power in Exxon Mobil (chart)

BlackRock is the second-largest shareholder of Exxon Mobil, owning 7.2% of its shares. As of December 2022, the market value of BlackRock’s stake in Exxon Mobil was $32.2 billion.

BlackRock owned 292 million shares in Exxon Mobil and controlled 292 million shareholder votes as of December 2022.

BlackRock, Inc. is the world’s largest asset manager, with assets under management of $10 trillion. BlackRock is not only an asset manager, but it also provides other asset managers and corporations with its Aladdin portfolio management software.

BlackRock is a publicly traded company, and its largest shareholders are its competitors, including BlackRock itself. Not directly but through their passive and active funds. The largest shareholder is Vanguard.

A similar situation is also true in the opposite direction because BlackRock is a significant shareholder in many of its publicly traded competitors and other large institutions, making the whole thing even more eyebrow-raising.

This circular ownership between Vanguard, BlackRock, and other large asset managers, amplifies the issue often raised about the power of these large asset managers over public companies since they usually belong to the most significant shareholders with large voting power.

  • In the case of Blackrock, this influence is personified in the form of its CEO Larry Fink, who is a powerful figure with close ties to the FED and the US government.

  • Adding to these concerns is evidence that BlackRock and other asset managers usually vote in favor of management proposals.

#3 State Street (5.5%)

State Street's share ownership and voting power in Exxon Mobil (chart)

State Street is the third-largest shareholder of Exxon Mobil, owning 5.5% of its shares. As of December 2022, the market value of State Street’s stake in Exxon Mobil was $24.7 billion.

State Street owned 224 million shares in Exxon Mobil and controlled 224 million shareholder votes as of December 2022.

State Street Corporation is one of the largest asset managers in the world, with 4 trillion assets under management. It makes money mainly from servicing and management fees.

In 1993 company introduced the SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (traded under ticker SPY). It was the first exchange-traded fund, and State Street is now one of the largest ETF providers in the world.

State Street is a publicly traded company, and its largest shareholders are, ironically, its competitors, Vanguard and Blackrock. One of its largest shareholders is even State Street itself. Not directly but through their passive and active funds.

This circular ownership between State Street, Vanguard, BlackRock, and other large asset managers, amplifies the issue often raised about the power of these large asset managers over public companies where they usually belong to the most significant shareholders.

❔ Does Warren Buffett own Exxon Mobil stock?

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owned a stake worth a few billion dollars in Exxon Mobil until the end of 2014. Currently, Berkshire Hathaway does not own shares in Exxon Mobil. It owns, however, a sizable stake in Chevron.

🧱 Who and When Founded Exxon Mobil?

Exxon Mobil Corporation is a direct descendant of Standard Oil, founded in 1870 by John D. Rockefeller. Standard Oil was broken up by U.S. supreme court in 1911, and two of the descending companies were Standard Oil of New Jersey and Standard Oil of New York. They later merged to form Exxon Mobil.

But a lot of time passed before all that happened. The merger of Exxon (formerly Standard Oil of New Jersey) and Mobil (formerly Standard Oil of New York) happened in 1999.

📅 Exxon Mobil’s History Timeline

These are selected events from Exxon Mobil’s history:

  • 1870: John D. Rockefeller and his associates founded Standard Oil Company
  • 1882: Formation of Standard Oil Trust by combining Standard Oil and other affiliated companies.
  • 1911: U.S. Supreme Court decided to break up Rockefeller’s Standard Oil into 34 companies. Two of those companies later combined to form Exxon Mobil. One of those companies was Standard Oil of New Jersey, later known as Exxon. Another was Standard Oil of New York which later became “Mobil.”
  • 1926: “Esso” fuel brand introduced.
  • 1955: Standard Oil of New York renamed Mobil Corporation
  • 1972: Standard Oil Company of New Jersey changed its name to Exxon Corporation.
  • 1989: Valdez oil spill tragedy
  • 1999: Merger of Exxon and Mobile, formin Exxon Mobil.

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