We got ahold of the letter Exxon's CEO sent workers after the company announced job cuts and faced questions about its carbon footprint

  • After announcing job cuts in Europe, Exxon's CEO, Darren Woods sent a letter to employees Tuesday. 
  • Woods said that Exxon is wrapping up an internal review of the company's operations — which will likely lead to more job cuts — in the next several months. 
  • He also reassured staff that Exxon's products will still be needed for decades to come. 
  • Read the full letter here, which Business Insider obtained. 
  • Do you have information about Exxon? Reach out to this reporter at [email protected] or through Signal/text at 1-646-768-1657.
  • For more stories like this, sign up here for our weekly energy newsletter, Power Line.

Exxon is having a bad week within a very tough year.

On Monday, the company announced job cuts in Europe, following previous reports of a voluntary redundancy program in Australia. The same day, the oil giant faced claims that its planned carbon emissions were set to surge, based on documents obtained by Bloomberg News. (Exxon called the claims inaccurate.)

The company's stock is now down more than 50% from the start of the year and it lost its position as the most valuable oil company in the US to Chevron on Wednesday. This summer, Exxon was ousted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. 

Exxon, like other oil companies, has been hit hard by the severe drop in oil prices, spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. However, it faces unique challenges among its peers, as Business Insider previously reported. 

While the company's CEO, Darren Woods, is known for staying quiet, he sent a letter to employees Tuesday morning, that was obtained by Business Insider. In it, he acknowledged the internal reviews that the company is carrying out across its global operations. 

"Studies for Australia and affiliates in Europe have been completed and communicated to employees," Woods said in the letter. "We expect to finalize the remaining studies over the next several months."

Following the conclusion of the Europe review, Exxon said it would cut up to 1,600 workers. 

Exxon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.

Read more: 4 leaked documents lay out how Exxon is cutting European workers, including which divisions are shrinking and where jobs are being moved

"Significant actions are needed at this time to improve cost competitiveness and ensure the company manages through these unprecedented market conditions," Exxon said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the European job cuts. 

While Exxon's competitors including BP have said they'll begin moving away from fossil fuels and set targets to reduce their emissions, Woods appears to be doubling down on oil.

Even under low-carbon scenarios, people will continue to need Exxon's products — namely, oil and gas — for decades to come, Woods said. BP, Total, and some Wall Street analysts have suggested that demand for oil could peak by 2030, or before. 

Here's the full letter than Woods sent to staff Tuesday. 

Do you have information about Exxon? Reach out to this reporter at [email protected] or through Signal/text at 1-646-768-1657.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

'A message from Darren Woods'

A message from Darren Woods

I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy as we continue to manage through this unprecedented time. Today's environment is one of the most difficult our people and our company have faced.

I'm extremely proud of the work we have done to respond to these challenges. Together we have stepped up, keeping our businesses running and ensuring uninterrupted supplies of essential products, while significantly improving safety and environmental performance. We have also taken difficult but decisive action to reduce spending and protect the long-term value of our company.

This response has required extraordinary effort by all of you and is especially impressive given the personal impacts associated with the pandemic. The management committee and I are deeply grateful for all you have done. Once again, you've demonstrated the qualities that make this company great.

Despite the significant steps we have already taken, there is still more to do. Most importantly, we must continue efforts to structurally improve the earnings and cash flow performance of the corporation. Fortunately, the work we have done over the past few years has positioned us well. Our investment portfolio remains the strongest in industry, and the organizational changes we've made are enabling further improvement opportunities – many of which were in progress prior to the pandemic. Over the last several months, we have accelerated these opportunities while pacing investments.

As part of this effort, each organization has undertaken a country-by-country assessment to determine staffing requirements. Studies for Australia and affiliates in Europe have been completed and communicated to employees. We expect to finalize the remaining studies over the next several months.

I know this work brings added uncertainty to already stressful times. I also know that these decisions can have significant impacts on our colleagues and friends. We are working hard to complete these reviews as quickly as possible, while ensuring a thoughtful and thorough assessment.

I understand the added burden all of this brings, but these actions are necessary to ensure the long-term success of the company. The work we are doing today will result in a more efficient organization that will emerge stronger and better able to compete through the price cycles inherent in our commodity-based business.

Over the long term, we remain committed to our strategy to address the dual challenge of providing affordable energy and mitigating environmental impacts, including the risks of climate change.

Despite the range of views that have been expressed, including from some of our competitors, the fundamentals of our business remain strong. All major third-party analyses – as well as our own – highlight the continuing role our industry will play in providing energy and products to people around the world for decades to come, even under low-carbon scenarios.

As we move forward, your leaders will keep you apprised of developments. And later this month, as we consolidate this year's corporate plan, I will hold a virtual employee forum to update you on our plan and reaffirm the direction of our company.

In closing, I want to thank you again for your hard work, commitment and resilience. Thanks to your efforts, we are positioning the company to better meet the needs of a growing and prosperous world.  

Get the latest ExxonMobil stock price here.

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