Romney is out Exxon CEO Tillerson in as Trump's secretary of state favorite: transition official
ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson speaks during the IHS CERAWeek 2015 energy conference in Houston, Texas April 21, 2015. REUTERS/Daniel Kramer/File Photo

Exxon Mobil Corp Chief Executive Rex Tillerson emerged on Friday as President-elect Donald Trump's leading candidate for U.S. secretary of state, a senior transition official said.


Trump met Tillerson on Tuesday and may talk to him again over the weekend, the official said. Trump appears to be in the final days of deliberations over his top diplomat with an announcement possible next week.

Tillerson's favored status was revealed as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani formally withdrew from consideration for secretary of state.

The transition official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tillerson had moved ahead in Trump's deliberations over 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has met Trump twice, including a dinner in New York.

But the official said Romney was still under consideration for the job, along with John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, and retired Navy Admiral James Stavridis.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Mary Milliken and Leslie Adler)