To survive for more than a century, Esso and Mobil Oil have had to constantly adapt to an ever-changing world.
This process gained momentum at the end of the twentieth century. Economic developments in particular can be breathtaking for those who have lived in the 'good old days'.
Little by little, national borders are losing their economic significance, national markets are being integrated into the European and world markets, competition has become increasingly international and therefore fiercer, and world markets are taking the place of local markets. This is the context in which we must place the organizational developments that have taken place since the merger of Exxon Corporation with Mobil Corporation to form ExxonMobil.
In this context, the local subsidiaries that have contributed to Standard Oil's multinational approach since its foundation in the nineteenth century, now have another role to play. Reporting and lines of communication are becoming more complex. An increasing number of employees are working for business units that operate across borders, as do their markets.
A very interesting issue for ExxonMobil is the development of alternative energy sources. For the time being, certainly until well into this century, fossil fuels - the basis of our activities - will still play a major role. But pressure to search for alternative, sustainable sources will only increase.
The contours of the new millenium are becoming increasingly clear. We don't know what the future will bring, but we certainly won't be surprised if the new era is even more exciting and more diverse than the last. And ExxonMobil will be part of it.