Merszei Resigns as Occidental's Vice Chairman

Zoltan Merszei, one of several executives once thought to be the successor to Occidental Petroleum Chairman Armand Hammer, 87, resigned as vice chairman to "pursue private interests," the company said Tuesday.

Merszei, 62, one-time chairman and chief executive of Dow Chemical, was named president and vice chairman of the Los Angeles-based oil company in 1979 but was removed from the presidency in 1980.

The current president, Ray R. Irani, 51, is the fourth since 1979.

Merszei will continue to collect his current $500,000 annual salary until February, 1988, and will be available as a consultant to Occidental during that time.

The resignation was mentioned in the company's proxy statement, which also disclosed that Hammer received about $1.1 million in salary and bonus last year while Irani got $893,532.

The proxy also set forth several anti-takeover measures that Occidental will put to shareholders at its annual meeting May 21 in Santa Monica.

They include reincorporating in Delaware, where the laws "reduce Occidental's vulnerability to takeover attempts."

The company also proposes to double the number of authorized outstanding shares of common stock to 400 million and to set staggered terms for directors, among other measures.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World