Rex-TillersonREX Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation has retired after more than 41 years of service to take up the the position of U.S. Secretary of State.

Darren Woods, currently president of Exxon Mobil Corporation, has been elected chairman and chief executive officer by the board.

Exxon’s board congratulated Mr Tillerson on his nomination for the position of U.S. secretary of state.

“We thank Rex for his leadership, service and dedication to ExxonMobil,” said the board.

“He led the company with integrity and honor, ensuring that safety and environmental protection were at the forefront of everything we do, generating value for shareholders and highlighting the impressive accomplishments of the company’s diverse workforce throughout the world. We know that his service to the nation as secretary of state will be equally successful and distinguished.”

Mr Tillerson was scheduled to retire in March 2017 when he reached 65, the company’s mandatory retirement age for his position. After consideration, Tillerson concluded, and the board agreed, that given the significant requirements associated with the confirmation process, it was appropriate to move the retirement date.

Mr Tillerson joined Exxon Company USA in 1975 as a production engineer. He held various senior roles in the corporation throughout his career spanning more than four decades, including executive vice president of ExxonMobil Development Company.

He was named senior vice president of Exxon Mobil Corporation in 2001 and was elected president and member of the board of directors in 2004. Tillerson was elected chairman and chief executive officer in January 2006.

Mr Woods was elected president of ExxonMobil and a member of the board of directors in January 2016.

He joined Exxon Company International in 1992. During his career he held various senior domestic and international positions in ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Company, ExxonMobil Chemical Company and Exxon Company International. He also served as manager of ExxonMobil investor relations.

In 2012, he was appointed president of ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Company and a vice president of the corporation. In this role, Woods had primary responsibility for the company’s global refining, supply and transportation activities. In 2014, he was named a senior vice president of the corporation and became a member of its management committee.