Northern, WI 04/12/2013 (usastockreport) – Institutional Shareholder Services Inc, the proxy advisor for Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) (Closed: $84.20, Up by 3.49%) said that investors should oust Ray Irani the Chairman as well as the lead independent director. All these developments are taking place amidst the move to find a replacement for Stephen Chazen, the Chief Executive Officer. In a report, ISS said that the Occidental shareholders should vote against the re-election of Irani and Aziz Syriani, a board member, at the annual meeting that is scheduled to be held on May 3 in Los Angeles.
Occidental’s stock had dropped for two years in succession and had been its worst performance across the past two decades. ISS has been the first proxy advisor to have advocated for changes in the board, in the light of its dismal performance. In February, the board had taken a decision to replace Chazen who had been promoted to the CEO post under two years ago. Occidental Investors like First Pacific Advisors LLC had called for Irani to step down. This entire controversy has left shareholders befuddled and they are unable to tell who is actually in charge of the largest oil-producer in the U.S.
Not a side-show
The storm that has been broiling in the boardroom has been delaying any moves for boosting the share price of the company said a Livermore Partners Inc managing director, David Neuhauser. He said that there is no doubt about the fact that Ray Irani should step-down from his position and permit Chazen to maintain full operational control. Neuhauser helps in overseeing $100 million in assets which include Occidental’s shares. He said that this issue must be addressed by the company and it should not be turned into a side-show.
At the meeting, 10 out of the 11 company directors are up for re-election. Rosemary Tomich who has been on the board since 1980 is the only one who will not be running for re-election. Since 1957, Chazen is the company’s third CEO and had taken-over from Irani in 2011 after he had stepped-down post a revolt by shareholders, over compensation that Occidental’s executives had been receiving. According to the proxy filings, over the past four years, Irani’s pay had been in excess of $200 million. According to the Spencer Stuart Board Index Report of 2012, Occidental directors were the highest paid amongst others in the energy industry. They were the second-highest from all companies listed in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.