Rex Tillerson, Removed: CEO Daily Special Afternoon Edition for March 13, 2018


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Good afternoon and pardon the interruption. Andrew Nusca here with a very special, highly unusual afternoon edition of CEO Daily.

Barely an hour after this morning’s edition of CEO Daily landed in your inbox, U.S. president Donald Trump dismissed his long-suffering Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Trump tweeted: “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!”

The former ExxonMobil CEO is only the latest in a long line of departed White House leaders, but he is arguably the most prominent to date. For context, a collection of Fortune coverage below.

Andrew Nusca


Tillerson's testy relationship with Trump was a sign that he was a poor fit, Geoff Colvin writes, not that corporate executives can't hack it in the White House.

The State Department's statement on the matter is riddled with curious detail for those who appreciate palace intrigue, Rachel King notes.

Meanwhile Wall Street was unmoved by the news, with barely a blip from the Dow and S&P 500, Lucinda Shen reports. Still, the change "can be viewed as another victory for the trade hardliners," one analyst notes.

Did Rex Tillerson have the shortest tenure as Secretary of State in U.S. history? The answer is no, according to Chris Morris--but this competition is surprisingly close.

Need a primer on Tillerson's replacement, Mike Pompeo? Look no further than this article by Grace Donnelly.

...and here's what to know about Gina Haspel, the newly named director of the CIA.

Finally, one from the Fortune archives: Brian O'Keefe's 2012 magazine story on ExxonMobil's big bet on shale gas. "With his silver hair, dark suits, and deep Texas drawl, Tillerson is the very picture of a big oil executive," O'Keefe writes. "In person, he comes across as relaxed and extremely comfortable in his own skin. Until, that is, the subject of environmental concerns and the media coverage of the shale gas boom comes up. Then suddenly his temper flashes. 'I think we have to deal in facts,' he says, his voice rising."


This edition of CEO Daily was edited by Andrew Nusca. Find previous editions here, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters here.