Occidental Alters Incentive Scheme

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Occidental Petroleum, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, said return on equity compensation incentives to former CEO and current Chairman Ray Irani and former CFO and new CEO Stephen Chazen will be awarded in half cash and half company shares instead of 100% cash as previously planned. The announcement pertains to incentive awards from 2008.

California-based Occidental (OXY) has come under fire from shareholders in the past for what they view as excessive compensation. Irani earned $76.1 million in 2010, his last full year in the job in which he faced a shareholder revolt over pay, Reuters reported.

In naming Chazen CEO last year, Occidental's board bowed to pressure from investors and agreed to significantly reduce executive compensation. For many of his years at the helm of Occidental, Irani was by far the highest paid CEO in the oil industry and one of the highest paid CEOs in corporate America.

Occidental's compensation committee also increased grants of incentive awards for Chazen from last year's grant following his elevation as the CEO, according to Reuters. Shares of Occidental have risen 7.41% on a year-to-date basis.