President-elect Donald Trump is considering Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his nominee for Secretary of State, capping a month-long audition process ripped from his former days as a reality television show host.
While Trump has not formally announced the pick, two sources close to the transition team said Trump has made a decision, while also cautioning that until it is public there is always a chance that the President-elect could change his mind.
If chosen, Tillerson would be the most dramatic example of Trump’s preference for wealthy outsiders like himself among his Cabinet. The one-time production engineer has earned hundreds of millions’ worth of Exxon stock over the years, according to a Washington Post report from earlier this year.
A 40-year employee of the energy giant, Tillerson would be the first person in at least a century to be elevated to the post without prior government experience. His close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who awarded Tillerson the Order of Friendship in 2013, and his extensive business dealings with governments around the world are already drawing scrutiny, setting up a potentially messy confirmation battle in the Senate.