WASHINGTON: ExxonMobil President and CEO Rex Tillerson is President-elect Donald Trump’s top pick for secretary of state, US media reported Saturday, with NBC reporting that Tillerson has already been chosen.
Tillerson, 64, is an oil executive with experience in international negotiations and a business relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump has already made the choice, according to NBC News, citing two unnamed sources close to the transition process.
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton will be Tillerson’s deputy secretary of state “for day-to-day management of the department,” NBC News added, citing one unnamed source.
The sources cautioned NBC that nothing was final until Trump makes the official announcement, which will likely come next week.
Other media outlets, including CBS News and The Wall Street Journal, describe Tillerson as the leading candidate for the job of top US diplomat. According to the Journal, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, other candidates still being considered include Bolton, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former CIA director David Petraeus.
The outspoken former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is no longer in the mix: Trump announced in a statement Friday that Giuliani had removed himself from the running.