Woods will succeed outgoing CEO Rex Tillerson, who announced his intent to retire at year-end following his nomination for the position of secretary of state.
Immediately following the announcement, XOM shares fell more than 2%, trading at around $90.59.
Woods, who is currently president, has been with Exxon since 1992. In that time, he has held various senior domestic and international positions. In 2012, Woods was appointed president of ExxonMobil Refining & Supply and vice president of the corporation. Two years later, he became a member of its management committee and was named senior vice president of the corporation. In January, he was elected to the company's board and appointed president.
Tillerson was scheduled to retire in March 2017, when he reached the age of 65, which is the company's mandatory retirement age for his position. However, after being tapped by President-elect Donald Trump earlier this week for the U.S.'s top diplomat, Tillerson and the board agreed it was "appropriate" to move up the retirement date.
"We thank Rex for his leadership, service and dedication to ExxonMobil," the board said in a statement. "We know that his service to the nation as secretary of state will be equally successful and distinguished."
Even with the change at the helm of the world's largest oil and gas company that has a market cap of $375 billion, the board says this is consistent with its succession plan that was "developed years in advance."
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