NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


April 27, 2006

New York Times' columnist Paul Krugman has called Exxon Mobil an enemy of the planet.

But ever since 1994 -- when CEO Lee Raymond became the head of the company -- it has been transformed into a company so efficient that it's a model not only for its own industry, but for most others as well, says H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

  • In the last 12 years, Exxon Mobil's stock price has quintupled and market value of the company rose from $82 million to more than $352 billion
  • Today, Exxon Mobil has 86,000 employees working in 20 countries.
  • By all accounts it treats its workers very well and its pay is well above the industry's average; in fact, during Raymond's stint as CEO, it never was forced to lay off an employee.
  • Krugman's employer, the New York Times Co., in contrast, is rated an underperformer by several leading financial analysts, including Prudential Securities.
  • Many of its papers are hemorrhaging red ink and circulation, and last September, it announced it would cut 500 employees this year -- about 4 percent of its work force.

Moreover, Krugman's criticism boils down to his belief that Exxon Mobil is not sufficiently "green" and that it won't embrace the Kyoto Treaty, says Burnett.

However, neither has the U.S. Senate, and Exxon Mobil's chief business is exploring, transporting and selling petroleum products -- not catering to Krugman's favorite environmental causes, says Burnett.

Source: H. Sterling Burnett, "Attack on Exxon Mobil's successful ex-CEO is nonsensical coming from N.Y. Times' pundit," Washington Examiner, April 26, 2006.


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