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The world's second-largest petroleum enterprise, Exxon Mobil Corporation, is engaged in discovering, developing, transporting and distributing petroleum and gas across over 200 countries and regions.

Exxon Mobil is a large petrochemicals production company, manufacturing, among other things, olefines and aromatics and plastics made of polyethylene and polypropylene. Over 40,000 service stations are selling products received from the company, running under Exxon Mobil and Esso's names. The history of Exxon Mobil is the case of two companies, each being an essential component of modern business history, merged in 1999, namely Mobil Corporation and Exxon Corporation.

Mobil was founded in 1931 as a union of Standard Oil Company of New York (a.k.a. Socony) and Vacuum Oil Company. Socony was the bigger and more widespread oil company, whereas Vacuum's expertise was in producing high-quality machine lubricants. Vacuum originated in 1866, when Matthew Ewing, a Rochester, New York carpentry professional and amateur inventor, developed a new way to get kerosene from oil, involving a vacuum. His partner, Hiram Bond Everest, provided $20 as the project starting capital and found that the residue occurring in the process is suitable for lubrication, so 1866 they registered a patent on account of the Vacuum Oil Company.

Soon afterward, Ewing sold his Vacuum interest to Everest. After that, the heavy Vacuum oil became highly demanded by steam engine manufacturers and the latest internal combustion engines. The Gargoyle 600-W Steam Cylinder Oil was patented by Everest in 1869, still in use in the 1990s, bringing the firm a long-lasting success.

Mobil's incorporation into Exxon seemed to bring cost savings and to combine two separate corporate cultures. Exxon's historical strengths were in finance and engineering, while Mobil's advantages were in marketing and dealing. Exxon was as strict as its owner, Lee Raymond. On the other hand, Mobile's Noto was an embodiment of the company's relaxed culture. Since these two different but potentially compatible legacies were merged, Exxon Mobil dominated the company's personality.

In general, Mobil managers were supervised by Exxon managers in the management ranks of the combined organization. In preparation for future prospects, Exxon Mobil had changed its leadership significantly. By January 2001, the Exxon Mobil board of directors offered Raymond a proposition to continue leading the business, despite his reaching the retirement age. At the same time, Noto had retired.

Industry analysts predicted Raymond's retirement some time in the middle of the decade and Rex Tillerson who came to Exxon in 1975 was chosen to replace him. Tillerson became an Executive Vice-President of Exxon Mobil Production Co., the organization responsible for guiding oil and gas development for Exxon Mobil, after the merger in 1999. In February 2004, Tillerson became the president of Exxon Mobil, and that measure seemed to confirm his future promotion as CEO. At the time, Tillerson had an excellent reputation, noted by analysts. When Tillerson succeeded Raymond, he was faced with keeping Exxon Mobil going, as America's leading oil company struggled to preserve its image on the world stage.

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