Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) is making more money than at any time in its 140-year history, but the company's "long-simmering toxic culture has employees heading for the exits" to the tune of 12K departures in the past two years, according to a Bloomberg analysis published this week.
An investigation involving interviews with more than 40 current and former employees, as well as reviews of dozens of internal documents, reveals one overriding reason talent is fleeing, according to Bloomberg: "a culture that's increasingly out of step with the world around it... [an] insular and fear-based culture... [that] has become a drag on innovation, risk taking, and career satisfaction."
Bloomberg said Exxon's (XOM) performance ranking system, which pits employees against each other, dominates the day to day, and subordinates are told not to speak out against their bosses in meetings for fear of being placed at the bottom of the rank and pushed out.
"Agreeability to senior leadership has become more important than capability," according to one executive who left the company last year after 20 years.
Exxon (XOM) has made important changes recently, including reforming its climate strategy and condensing 11 businesses into three, and it is on track to cut costs by $9B by 2023.
Exxon's (XOM) stock is up 60% this year and is near a record high, but if the company "has any shot at dominating the volatile energy transition over the next century, it will need to attract and hold on to the next generation of scientists, engineers and technologists," the report concludes.