Rex Tillerson claims his wife persuaded him to take the role as the US's top diplomat
Mr Tillerson has recently returned from a visit to East Asia but claims he was set to retire before being offered the role in the Trump administration.
Speaking to Independent Journal Review, the 64-year-old said: "I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job.
I was supposed to retire in March, this month… I was going to go to the ranch to be with my grandkids
“My wife told me I’m supposed to do this.”
He said he was stunned when Donald Trump asked him to become the secretary of state after they met for the first time in December.
His wife, Renda St Clair, told him: “I told you God’s not through with you.”
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He added: “I was supposed to retire in March, this month. I was going to go to the ranch to be with my grandkids.”
However, Mr Tillerson conceded: "My wife convinced me. She was right. I’m supposed to do this.”
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Tillerson in his role as ExxonMobil chairman
He is the first Secretary of State in modern history never to have held a public office role, but was chosen by the President following his success in the oil industry.
Mr Tillerson served as the chief executive and chairman of oil giant ExxonMobil and his experience in dealing with international representatives prompted Trump to choose him for the high-profile role.
Mr Tillerson with his South Korean counterpart during a visit to East Asia
He drove the company’s expansion in Russia, which has led some critics to question whether his ties with Moscow make him suitable for the role.
He has been cagey about his Russian connections ever since his appointment but maintains his chief desire is to serve the President.
Asked if he will serve for a whole term, he replied: “I serve at the pleasure of the president.”