Note to Exxon Mobil: In unearthing documents from former CEO Rex Tillerson, don’t neglect to search his pen name, “Wayne Tracker.”
That was the message Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey sent Exxon Mobil recently in her ongoing legal dispute with the oil company.
Tillerson, now secretary of state, went by the comically western-sounding name “Wayne Tracker” in a second Exxon corporate email account that he used over a period of eight years, various news reports recently disclosed. The revelation immediately spawned comedic riffs and a name generator from the website Slate, which transforms a reader’s name into something earnest, rugged, and over-the-top. (This reporter was dubbed Anne Eaglescout.)
All this came up because Healey and her counterpart in New York, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, have demanded that Exxon Mobil turn over internal company documents, including emails from Tillerson. Both attorneys general are pursuing fraud investigations, looking into whether Exxon misled investors and the public for years about the risk of climate change, which the company’s own researchers were studying and documenting internally.
After unearthing a few “Wayne Tracker” references in the documents he received so far, Schneiderman returned to court to demand that Exxon produce any documents involving its former CEO, not just those under his real name. Exxon said last week that it may have lost at least a year’s worth of them.
As a result, a New York judge this week ordered Exxon to produce all such documents by March 31, and later to explain what it is doing to provide and preserve documents in the case.
Healey, meanwhile, had asked for any “alias” email accounts in her original demand for documents – a move that seems eerily prescient now, but that a spokeswoman said was based on experience with businesses and people who sometimes go by different names.
But Healey hasn’t yet received any documents from Exxon at all.