Early in Exxon’s efforts to gain access to the Russian market, Tillerson cut a deal with state-owned Rosneft.
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Indeed, Trump, the first billionaire businessman to win the White House, is broadly testing that proposition across his administration.To Trump, the deals Tillerson has struck around the world for Exxon, and the relationships he has built doing so, are ample preparation for the challenges he would face as the nation's top diplomat. While Tillerson's ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin are drawing scrutiny on Capitol Hill, Trump has had good things to say about Putin, too, and Tillerson's connection doesn't appear to have given him any pause.Perry called it "a tremendous honor" to be chosen for Trump's evolving Cabinet.While business leaders have served in Cabinet posts under both Republican and Democratic presidents, the scope of private sector influence in Trump's burgeoning team is a stark contrast to modern predecessors.Among them will be former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has been asked by Trump to lead the Energy Department, according to people with knowledge of the decision.Tillerson came to his attention several years ago when he beat back a motion supported by the Rockefellers – Exxon's founding family – that would have split the chairman and chief executive position into two different jobs.
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