NewsPolitics Rex Tillerson, Trump's secretary of state nominee and Exxon Mobil CEO: What to know By Nicole Brown email@example.com Updated December 14, 2016 11:05 AM Print Share fbShare Tweet gShare Email Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed concern over President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. The choice of the Exxon Mobil CEO, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has brought into question whether national or corporate interests will be at play if he heads the State Department. “While Rex Tillerson is a respected businessman, I have serious concerns about his nomination,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a statement. Sen. Bernie Sanders said the selection of Tillerson sends a "troubling message." "In this appointment, Mr. Trump is making it abundantly clear that the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industry are more important than climate change and the future of the planet," Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement. Scroll down for some more information about Tillerson. He's from Texas Photo Credit: Getty Images / Nicholas Kamm Tillerson was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1952 and attended the University of Texas at Austin. He has worked at Exxon Mobil since 1975 Photo Credit: Getty Images / Ben Stansall After graduating college in 1975, Tillerson joined Exxon as a production engineer, according to his bio on the company website. He moved up the ranks, becoming a general manager and later an executive vice president. In 2006, he became CEO. He has close ties with Russia Photo Credit: Getty Images / Michael Klimentyev Tillerson has developed a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin through his company's dealings in the country. He made a deal with Putin in 2011 to drill in the Arctic, but the drilling was halted in 2014 when the United States set up sanctions against Russia during the Ukrainian crisis. In 2013, Putin awarded Tillerson with the Order of Friendship, awarded to individuals who help strengthen cooperation between Russia and another nation. He recognizes the risks of climate change Photo Credit: Getty Images / Eric Piermont Exxon Mobil came under fire in 2015 after reports said the company knew its affect on climate change since 1977, but did not acknowledge it. Under Tillerson's leadership, the company denied the reports and said it had been working to reduce its impact on the environment. At a speech in October, Tillerson said the company faces the challenge of supplying energy and reducing harmful emissions. "At Exxon Mobil, we share the view that the risks of climate change are serious and warrant thoughtful action," he said. Additionally, the company endorsed the Paris climate agreement. He was the president of Boy Scouts of America Photo Credit: Getty Images / Nicholas Kamm Tillerson earned the ranking of an Eagle Scout and has been a longtime supporter of the Boy Scouts of America. He served as the organization's president from 2010 to 2012. By Nicole Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic Meet Trump's Cabinet and top appointmentsTrump has had to fill some positions twice. Steve Bannon, from college to controversyHis rise to power points the way to what may be next in a varied career. 7 things to know about Trump's chief of staff Reince PriebusDespite Trump's promise to "drain the swamp" of establishment politicians, Priebus is a Washington insider. Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.