Occidental Petroleum's former chairman gets $14 million in severance

Occidental Petroleum Corp. will pay $14 million to its former chairman Ray Irani as part of a severance agreement, ending a year of turmoil and drama at the oil giant.

Irani was ousted by shareholders from Occidental's board in a dramatic annual meeting in May following a months-long boardroom spat over control of the Westwood company.

Many analysts saw Irani as the driving force behind efforts to replace the company's current chief executive, Steve Chazen. The move angered some investors who accused Irani, who has been with the company since 1983, of making a power play and angling for the CEO position himself.

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The ouster ended a nearly three-decade career as a director of Occidental. Irani became chief executive in 1990 and stepped down in 2011 following shareholder outrage over his eye-popping compensation.

Irani was at one point known as the best-paid chief executive of an oil company. Even after leaving the CEO job, Irani was still paid nearly $46 million in 2012.

After decades with Occidental, Irani will walk away with a hefty paycheck and other perks.

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Those include financial planning and accounting services up to $470,000 a year, and reimbursement for the use of a "travel security professional" up to $50,000 annually, the company said in a regulatory filing on Monday.

Irani can also use his current office and two assistants for the next four months until he moves into new office space, the filing said. His company parking spot is his "for the remainder of his life."

All told, the settlement comes out to about $26 million in pretax costs, with annual expenses up to $1.3 million, the filing said.


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