Ray Irani Officially Named Oxy Chairman

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s board Thursday reaffirmed its earlier vote to name President Ray R. Irani chairman and chief executive to replace Armand Hammer, who died Monday.

The board also voted to name Dale R. Laurance, Irani’s longtime lieutenant, to the board seat vacated by Hammer and to promote Laurance to the new post of senior operating officer from executive vice president of operations.

Irani, 55, brought Laurance, 45, with him to Occidental in 1983 from Olin Corp., where Irani was president and Laurance was his special assistant.

During Hammer’s last years, Irani and Laurance, both trained in the chemical business, worked closely together buying up chemical properties and streamlining Occidental into an integrated petrochemical firm, analysts said.

The board voted in the company’s Westwood headquarters after a private memorial service for Hammer at the nearby Westwood Memorial Park. It was the board’s first meeting since Hammer’s death.