News Column

Ray Irani Leaves Occidental Petroleum

May 3, 2013

Shan Li

occidental petroleum

Occidental Petroleum Chairman Ray Irani has withdrawn as a nominee to serve a new term on the oil and gas producer's board, and was absent from Friday's shareholder meeting in Santa Monica.

Irani, 78, has been with the company since 1983. He took over as chairman and chief executive in 1990 after the death of company founder Armand Hammer. He gave up the CEO post two years ago and was scheduled to retire from the company in 2014.

It was not known who will become the company's next chairman, but shareholders decided to replace Irani on the board with Edward Djerejian, a former U.S. diplomat who has served as an ambassador to Israel and an assistant secretary of State.

There had been speculation that Irani might retire sooner than expected after he ran afoul of some investors when he tried to replace the company's current chief executive, Steve Chazen, earlier this year. A number of analysts that cover the company accused Irani of mishandling succession plans.

The board earlier this week said Chazen would remain CEO through 2014.

Shares of Occidental rose $3.08, or 3.5%, to $91.16 in late-morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.


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