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Occidental Reduces CEO Compensation After Criticism Over Pay

Occidental Petroleum Corp., the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, reduced new Chief Executive Officer Stephen I. Chazen’s compensation package after facing criticism for former CEO Ray R. Irani’s salary in 2010.

Chazen, who became CEO in May, received $31.7 million in 2011 compared with $38.1 million the year before when he was president, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Chazen’s compensation included $1.27 million in salary, a $1.34 million bonus and $28.6 million in cash and stock awards.

Irani received $49.8 million in cash, stock and other benefits versus $76.1 million in 2010, when his compensation nearly doubled, making him the highest-paid CEO in the energy industry. Irani retired as CEO and became executive chairman.

Occidental announced revisions to the compensation plan in October 2010 after the hedge fund Relational Investors criticized his pay and called for changes on the Los Angeles-based company’s board, according to a statement released at the time. The previous pay formula included incentives based on the company’s returns, established in 2007.

Irani’s 2011 pay included $1.3 million in salary, a $1.25 million bonus and $45.5 million in cash and stock awards.

Occidental fell 3.5 percent to $97.96 at the close in New York. The shares have risen 4.6 percent this year.

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