Rex Tillerson, SPE, was appointed US Secretary of State and took the oath of office on 1 February. His predecessor to this position was John Kerry. After being nominated to the position, Tillerson retired as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Exxon Mobil Corp. at the end of 2016 after a 4-decade career at the company, advancing his planned retirement from the company in March 2017. He also severed all ties with the company to comply with the conflict-of-interest requirements associated with his nomination. Tillerson joined Exxon Company USA as a production engineer in 1975 and held various senior roles in the corporation, including executive vice president of ExxonMobil Development Company. He was named senior vice president of Exxon Mobil Corp. in 2001 and was elected president and member of the board of directors in 2004. Tillerson was elected chairman and CEO in 2006. Following Tillerson’s retirement, Darren W. Woods, president of Exxon Mobil Corp., was elected chairman and CEO effective 1 January.