Two of the largest institutional investors in Occidental Petroleum are fighting to get board seatsTwo of the largest institutional investors in Occidental Petroleum (OXY) are none too happy about the estimated $50 million its chief executive made last year, and they're launching a fight to take over seats on the oil and gas company's board.

Relational Investors LLC and the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) sent a letter Friday to the board of the company announcing their intentions to try to take over four of the 13 board positions at next year's annual meeting. A spokesman for CalSTRS confirmed the contents of the letter, first reported in The Wall Street Journal.

The main gripes are the amount of Occidental Chairman and CEO Ray Irani's compensation and the lack of a succession plan. Irani, 75, reportedly took home $857 million in pay since he took over as chief executive 10 years ago. This year, his pay plan includes a $58 million incentive.

Movement at the Top

On Monday, Occidental announced the appointment of Chief Financial Officer Stephen Chazen to president and chief operating officer. For at least one of the investors, it was a good move.

"Today's appointment of Stephen Chazen as COO is a long overdue positive first step. However we feel it is reactive to issues brought to them by shareholders outside the board room, whereas as a vigorous Board would have been proactive," said CalSTRS spokesman Ricardo Duran. "As a long-term shareholder in Occidental, CalSTRS wants to see an institutional process in place for succession planning to ensure that the excellent returns we've received so far will continue. "

CalSTRS has been an owner of Occidental Petroleum for more than 25 years and has no immediate plans to sell its stake.

Executive compensation experts say that Irani's compensation, an increase of 40% from the previous year, should reflect a higher return than the stock's actual return for investors. Over the last 24 months, the stock has fluctuated from between $70 and $80 a share.

On news of the board takeover bid, Occidental's stock on Monday increased 3% to close at $80 a share.

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kdocjjk123

It should be noted that OXY was selling for less than $15 in Jan 2003 but after the Iraq War was begun the share price rose to over $30 by the end of 2004 and continued rising so they split 2 for 1 in 2006 and sells for around $80 after splitting. Exxon-Mobil rose from $35 per share to $80 in about the same time period. The dead military who drove the price up got nothing but the executives take credit for war and price rigging that produced $4 gasoline. Then BP demonstrated just how smart the executives are. DUH!!

August 03 2010 at 3:15 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
bzzzbayte

blame it all on 8 years of george bush and dick cheney.. they destroyed us

August 03 2010 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
doktordsbc

Imagine that a greedy ceo.

August 03 2010 at 2:36 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
doktordsbc

Imagine that a greedy ceo.

August 03 2010 at 2:36 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Frank S. Pedigo

I am so impressed when the CEO of some big company stands before a news camera and tells everyone that they have to send jobs overseas because of the high cost of labor .They just dont tell you that it is thier labor that costs so much .Of course Americans will blame the workers and not the CEOs .

August 03 2010 at 2:31 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Mike

it is amazing to me that people will complain about UAW union workers pay, but these guys get away with what i consider just plan theft. when will you guys figure out this whole deal is really a fight about the rich and everyone else? the real enemy is not the working man........

August 03 2010 at 2:13 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Miss Thang

This is why our country is in the midst of an economic catastrophe, and why the middle class is becoming extinct. It's the greed of the rich making their living on the backs of you and me. It's criminal.

August 03 2010 at 2:03 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
joe

Is it any differen tthan that idiot in the Bronx, giving 33 million to a player for a years work? Actually, only half the year, and several other "players" on that team. No one deserves 50 mil a year, nor should someone buy a house on 5th ave worth 44 million. Kinda figure a 14 million dollar house would be nice too, and he could donate the other 30 mil to the Gulf Coast disaster. Hate to some Socialist, or Communist but this is out of control. Read last week someone spent over a 100k for a dog B-day too. No one has the right to tell another, how to spend, but we're out of control

August 03 2010 at 1:58 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Salutations

We want Obama to end all of this.. but then most end up griping about it when he does...

August 03 2010 at 1:49 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
leejcaroll

Pig.

August 03 2010 at 1:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply