By Stephen Nakrosis

A group including Exxon Mobil shareholders is calling on its peers to vote against the oil company's chief executive officer and its lead independent director at the company's 2024 annual meeting.

The group, which includes several U.S. state treasurers and New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, said in a letter that it is calling on the world's largest asset managers to vote against Executive Chair and CEO Darren Woods and Lead Independent Director Joseph Hooley.

In the letter, which was submitted Tuesday to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the group said it believes that the oil company's attempts to undermine shareholder rights reflect a failure of board oversight and that it has wasted corporate assets on litigation.

A spokesperson for Exxon Mobil wasn't immediately available to comment.

The reaction comes following a lawsuit filed by Exxon Mobil against two sustainability investment firms. The Wall Street Journal reported the company sued Arjuna Capital and Follow This in January to block a shareholder proposal that would commit Exxon Mobil to further curb greenhouse-gas emissions. The suit also targets emissions from the company's customers, the Journal said.

The letter filed Tuesday is also signed by a trustee of the United Steelworkers International Union Staff Pension Plan, a trustee of the AFL-CIO Staff Retirement Plan and three members of the California Public Employees' Retirement System board of administration. Earlier this week, Calpers, the nation's largest public pension manager, said it planned to vote against every Exxon Mobil board member.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-21-24 1625ET