Exxon exodus turns floating ‘dice’ into Internet meme


HOUSTON, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil’s trophy U.S. campus is changing into an Internet meme.

The visually gorgeous complicated, generally in comparison with Apple’s ring and Alphabet’s Googleplex campuses, opened in 2014 as Exxon stood atop of the worldwide oil market. Its centerpiece is a big dice that seems to drift above the workplace and analysis facility.

The dice has change into the logo for a wrenching employees exodus and Exxon’s monetary fall. Hundreds of departing workers this 12 months have posted photographs on social media of them standing in entrance of it on their final day of labor, and variations have unfold amongst Exxon services worldwide.

A historic, $22.4 billion loss final 12 months fueled the departures of hundreds of workers. Cost-cutting will pare 14,000 jobs by year-end, and this 12 months’s job evaluation has led to voluntary and compelled departures – accompanied by the social media postings of the dice. learn extra

“You should scan social media and find all the people who are excited to be joining ExxonMobil,” Exxon spokeperson Casey Norton advised Reuters. Restructuring cuts completed final December and any positions opened this 12 months as a result of performance-related dismissals could also be refilled, he stated.

Auld Lang Syne

“That picture will always remind me of the positive experiences I had,” stated former Exxon finance supervisor Jason Crawford, who posted his personal three weeks in the past. He resigned after concluding that high administration was ill-prepared for challenges forward and Exxon’s “days of being a global leader are long behind them.”

The dice was designed to showcase Exxon’s engineering and expertise prowess. A feat of engineering, it looms over the 385-acre campus, floating over an open courtyard and reflecting swimming pools.

Officially referred to as Exxon Energy Center, it opened in 2014 at a time the agency was atop the worldwide oil and fuel market. Oil was promoting for $100 a barrel and Exxon’s market worth, now about $258 billion, approached half a trillion {dollars}.

The constructing initially supplied an emblem of Exxon’s high-tech ambitions for itself and a lure for proficient engineers then flocking to high-tech corporations. The campus has strolling paths that wend by means of the world, eating places, a health club with trainers, and bodily science laboratories.


Avery Smith, who posted his photograph in entrance of the dice earlier this 12 months, was a type of drawn to the complicated. The 26-year-old information scientist labored at Exxon Mobil Research & Engineering and left final January to start out Snow Data Science.

Exxon’s “rigid culture” restricted the initiatives he needed to pursue and its pandemic work-from-home restrictions grated on him. “I was a little trapped in my position and wanted to do bigger projects,” Smith stated, selecting to launch his personal enterprise.

The dice represents the corporate at its finest, stated Smith and others who posted their dice portraits.

“I was challenged to work with people all over the world,” wrote engineer Margaret Webb, with assignments “tackling some of the largest problems in the world today.”

Although she left Exxon in February “before this trend became popular,” Webb lately felt compelled so as to add hers after seeing tons of materialize from colleagues.

“The biggest thing I take away is this – something needs to be done about how engineers consider the ethical, social and environmental impacts of their daily work,” she wrote.


Cube references now seem in goodbyes removed from Texas. An Exxon scientist in Calgary, Alberta, constructed a Cube reproduction from Legos for his goodbye picture. A Buenos Aires, Argentina, finance supervisor drew on a photograph from a previous go to for his.

“I don’t have the customary energy cube picture,” lamented Krishnan Kumaran, 55, who final month took early retirement after 18 years on the firm. His goodbye included “a picture of the (Exxon) building located in pastoral Clinton, New Jersey,” the place he labored as a computational scientist.

Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Dan Grebler

Avery Smith poses for a selfie, as one of hundreds of Exxon Mobil employees posting their goodbyes to colleagues on social media using photos of themselves standing in front of the oil company's Energy Center outside of Houston, Texas, U.S., in this undated handout photo. Avery Smith/Handout via REUTERS

Oil and energy company Exxon Mobil's futuristic campus is seen in Spring, Texas, U.S. April 21, 2017.  REUTERS/Ernest Scheyder/File Photo

Oil and energy company Exxon Mobil's futuristic campus is seen in Spring, Texas, U.S. April 21, 2017.  REUTERS/Ernest Scheyder/File Photo