After pressure from the climate movement, JPMorgan Chase quietly announced Friday the demotion of the former Exxon CEO from his previous lead director role.
Thanks in part to supporters like you, JPMorgan Chase is bowing to pressure and just announced Lee Raymond, historic climate denier and former CEO of ExxonMobil, will be demoted from his board leadership role!
After a month of public pressure, on Friday JPMorgan Chase quietly announced that Raymond will step down as Lead Independent Director of its board. It’s clear Chase is feeling the pressure from the hundreds of phone calls and tens of thousands of messages sent demanding action. This is a huge change from just one month ago when Chase stated it planned to keep Raymond, a key architect of the global climate denial machine and who likely plays a critical role in keeping Chase the bank most invested in fossil fuels, in his prominent leadership role.
We’re taking on the world’s largest banker of dirty energy and we’re winning. Chase is feeling the heat, and we must not let up.
BlackRock and other asset managers need to vote Raymond off the JPMorgan Chase board
JPMorgan Chase is by far the world’s biggest funder of fossil fuels, making them the worst banker of climate change. One key reason why: for more than three decades, JPMorgan Chase has had Lee Raymond, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, on its board of directors.
Over the past month tens of thousands of us called on JPMorgan Chase not to renominate Lee Raymond to its board — but Chase did it again anyway. But one particular group that the bank will have a much harder time ignoring is its largest shareholders. Now we need to demand that those shareholders — the world’s biggest asset managers led by BlackRock — vote out Lee Raymond and hold JPMorgan Chase accountable on climate change.
Being the largest asset managers in the world means that BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard are the top shareholders in nearly every major publicly-traded company, including JPMorgan Chase. That gives these asset managers enormous power and influence to shape the business world by engaging with the companies they invest in and deciding whether to support shareholder resolutions and board nominations at those companies.
BlackRock recently promised to use its outsized shareholder power to vote down the boards of companies not making fast enough progress on climate, as well as to vote for initiatives that will advance climate-friendly goals. State Street also made a similar commitment to use its shareholder power to push companies for sustainability and climate action. Vanguard has so far failed to make similar commitments, but has tried to talk a good game on climate in the past. With JPMorgan Chase’s annual shareholder meeting coming up soon, now is the time for these asset managers to put their nice words into action.
Lee Raymond has a long history of publicly attacking scientific consensus and using his considerable influence and resources to undermine action on climate change. As long as he’s on the board of JPMorgan Chase, he’ll keep working to block climate progress, and it’ll be that much harder to get Chase to change its ways.