– Sacked on tweeter while in Nairobi on African trip
US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who was sacked while in Kenya on an African trip, may lose further $180m lodged in an account for him, should he go back to the oil industry.
The former CEO of Exxon Mobil, was removed by mere tweet by his boss, President Donal Trump, in a scandal that looks like Russian interest is at play.
Reports said he is worth $330m but would be paid $180m in the next 10 years if he did not return to the oil industry as a worker, Now that he has lost his job abruptly, where he would go next is under speculation.
See details by ABC via Yahoo;
It is not clear where Tillerson will do after leaving the administration, but don’t expect him to head back to his old industry: A clause in his Exxon exit agreement stipulates that Tillerson would forfeit up to $180 million if he takes a job in the oil business again within 10 years.
When Tillerson accepted the job as Trump’s Secretary of State in early 2017, he resigned as head of Exxon Mobil and agreed to a retirement package worth $180 million, representing the value of two million shares Tillerson would have inherited if he stayed at Exxon. But as the Associated Press reported, the money was placed in a trust in order to avoid conflict-of-interest issues. Tillerson’s exit agreement stated that the money in the trust would be paid out over 10 years—or given to charity if Tillerson took another job in the oil and gas industry within that period.
Tillerson was one of several wealthy former corporate executives in the Trump administration, which is by far the richest presidential cabinet in American history. Rex Tillerson had a net worth of $330 million as of last year, according to Forbes.
Combine Rex Tillerson’s net worth with that of other Trump administration appointees such as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (net worth estimated between $1 billion and $5 billion) and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (net worth: $700 million to $2.9 billion), and the collective wealth of Trump’s cabinet was once estimated as high as $14.5 billion. This total does not even include the estimated wealth of Donald Trump (net worth: $3.1 billion).
It has been rumored for months that Trump wanted to fire Rex Tillerson. The New York Times reported last November that the Trump White House planned to oust Tillerson and replace him at Secretary of State with Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, former congressman, and member of the Republican Tea Party from Kansas. On Tuesday, Trump confirmed in a Tweet that this switch would indeed take place, and that long-time CIA veteran Gina Haspel would replace Pompeo and become the first woman to be CIA director.
How he was sacked
Just hours after his very public firing Tuesday, an emotional Secretary of State Rex Tillerson came to the State Department briefing room to tell his side of the story, saying he had received a call shortly after noon from the president aboard Air Force One, and had spoken as well with White House chief of staff John Kelly.
He did not otherwise mention or thank President Donald Trump.
Tillerson first learned he was being dismissed when Trump tweeted this morning that he was nominating CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his new secretary of state.
Tillerson announced he was delegating all his responsibilities to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan effective at the end of the day Tuesday and that his commission as secretary of state would terminate at midnight March 31. In the interim, he will deal with a few administrative issues and work toward a “smooth and orderly transition” for Pompeo.
Sullivan was in the room with Tillerson when he spoke, with a half dozen other top aides, including his chief of staff Margaret Peterlin. It’s unclear now if Peterlin and other top officials with close ties to Tillerson will lose their jobs, too, but Tillerson encouraged “those confirmed [by the Senate], as well as those in acting positions, to remain at their post and continue our mission at the State Department and working with the inter-agency process.”
Noticeably absent was Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steven Goldstein, who earlier in the day released a statement refuting the White House’s narrative on when and how Tillerson found out he was being fired. Just hours after that, Goldstein – the fourth-highest-ranking official at State and one of the only Trump appointees – was fired as well, after three months on the job.
With Tillerson and Goldstein gone, nearly all the top positions at the State Department will be left vacant. Among the six Under Secretary roles, four have been vacant, a fifth now is open with Goldstein’s firing, and the sixth is filled by career diplomat Tom Shannon, who announced last month he is retiring. Shannon, the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, has said he will stay on until a replacement is found. More than a dozen assistant secretary roles remain vacant or filled by senior diplomats in an acting capacity, and overseas, more than three dozen ambassadorships are empty, with the mission’s number two leading the embassy day-to-day.
Tillerson was visibly emotional in the briefing room, especially when he first walked up to the podium and began addressing the press, with his voice cutting out at times and his face red.
It was just last week that Tillerson got choked up when addressing why he took the role in the first place. At George Mason University Tuesday, he recounted his father’s and uncle’s military service – and how he missed the draft during the Vietnam War by three numbers. Instead, he went off to college and worked 41 1/2 years for Exxon Mobil, and “as I reflected on things at that point, I said I hadn’t really done anything yet. It’s my time to serve, and that’s why I’m doing it,” he told the audience.
The former CEO, who says he still thinks of himself as an Eagle Scout, said he saw the job as a form of serving his country. Despite his disagreements with Trump on policy, personnel, and leadership style, he remained committed to the role.
“I look forward to having a very, very successful 2018,” he told CNN in January. “I intend to be here for the whole year.”
Tillerson’s father passed away the week before his comments about his father’s military service. He had been home for a week dealing with that, before his speech Tuesday and a week-long trip through Africa.
It was in the middle of the night in Nairobi, Kenya, that he was awakened by White House chief of staff John Kelly. While the White House says Kelly told Tillerson then that he was fired, a senior State Department official said that Tillerson was only warned that such a tweet may be coming.
But Trump has tweeted about his cabinet secretaries before, only to keep them in place. For months now, he has pilloried Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but has not yet fired him.
Tillerson cut short the trip to Africa, returning early Tuesday morning at 4 AM.
It was hours later that the news officially came in Trump’s tweet.