Oil Executive Vote Out by Shareholders

One of the Oil Industry’s highest paid executives in the U.S. was pushed out of his job this week. Occidental Petroleum Corp investors forced Ray Irani the Executive Chairman out.

Company investors voted overwhelmingly to have Irani removed with more than 76% of the votes opposing re-election at the company’s annual meeting. Irani, who is 78, was forced two years ago to step aside as the Los Angeles-based company’s CEO due to what investors said was his huge pay. He recently upset shareholders who had become concerned he was playing a role in attempting to oust the current CEO.

Irani was not available for comment following the announcement of the investors vote. Irani has been one of the country’s highest paid executives.

The changes currently taking place at Occidental are just another sign of shareholder pressure increasing in companies, not just to shake up the management, but also to make additional changes that could hold the potential to increase share prices, from selling divisions to buying stock back.

Recent victories by shareholders include the resignation of Ray Lane as the Hewlett-Packard Chairman in April, though he will stay on as a board member, following over 40% of the voting shareholders opposing his re-election to the board at the PC company’s latest annual meeting.

Chesapeake Energy Co. founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon stepped down on April after company shareholders took over control of the company’s board last year at the struggling natural gas behemoth.

CEO Angela Braly of WellPoint, Inc resigned last summer when she came under fire from shareholders for the performance of the insurance company.