Chevron Corp. CVX +0.03% is preparing to defend itself against a potential challenge from activist investors like the one that roiled Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -0.38% earlier this year, according to people familiar with the matter.
In recent weeks, Chevron executives met with representatives of Engine No. 1, the investment firm that led the successful fight to win three seats on Exxon’s board, people familiar with the matter said. Chevron shared some of its plans to reduce carbon emissions during the talks, which were described as cordial, and Engine No. 1 gave no indication that it would pursue a campaign against Chevron, the people said.
Engine No. 1 is considering whether to target a major oil company once again, and other investors have been in touch with the hedge fund about organizing a group to purchase Chevron shares, sounding out if there is interest in launching a second major campaign, people familiar with the matter said. Engine No. 1 hasn’t made any decision about another campaign, one of the people said.
Chevron has studied Engine No. 1’s campaign against Exxon, and its rival’s defeat crystallized the urgency in communicating its energy-transition plans, people familiar with the matter said. Chevron’s board met in person for the first time this summer since the onset of the pandemic. Topics of discussion included the Exxon-Engine No. 1 proxy fight, according to people familiar with the meeting.
Chevron has been developing its energy-transition strategy since the pandemic began. In coming weeks, it plans to announce more-ambitious carbon-reduction targets than those it has previously laid out, people familiar with the matter said. The company is also evaluating the addition of a new director with environmental expertise to its board, the people said.
[Christopher Matthews and Emily Glazer]