Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to lay off an unspecified number of employees as low oil prices force the company to delay major projects, the company said in an email to staff.
“These are difficult times,” Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods said in the message, the text of which was released by the company Wednesday. “We are making tough decisions, some of which will result in friends and colleagues leaving the company.”
The oil behemoth’s job cut is just the latest sign of struggle among U.S. energy producers seeking to weather the industry’s worst downturn in recent memory. Just this week two high-profile mergers were announced as explorers seek to gain scale and cut costs to survive the devastating impact of COVID-19 on global demand for fuel.
Exxon’s stock has plunged and the company has all but ended its aggressive, US$30 billion-a-year counter-cyclical growth strategy. The company was forced to slash its capital spending budget by a third, or US$10 billion, earlier this year. Rivals such as BP Plc and Chevron Corp. have also announced large layoffs in recent weeks.
“Our plan is to continue to stage project execution and spending,” Woods said. “Making the organization more efficient and more nimble will reduce the number of required positions and, unfortunately, reduce the number of people we need.”
Exxon’s stock has plunged 52 per cent this year and briefly lost its long-held crown as America’s top oil and gas producer to Chevron Corp. Its dividend yield stands at more than 10 per cent suggesting that investors believe it may be cut for the first time in at least four decades.