Business: An Academic for Exxon

For most of its long history, Exxon Corp. has insisted that only company officers could serve on its board; not until 1966 did it begin choosing "outside" directors. Now it is going far outside indeed. Its latest nominee for director is Martha Peterson, 57, president of New York's Barnard College, a mathematician with a Ph.D. in educational psychology and an amateur ornithologist, who admits: "I am not a person who is terribly knowledgeable about business and Exxon." The world's largest oil company has never had a female director be fore, and Peterson suspects that she was chosen largely because "they...

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