The Shareholder ForumTM


"Say on Pay" Proposals

Forum Home Page

"Say on Pay" Home Page

Program Reference


For the press release on which the article below is based, see


Los Angeles Times, January 27, 2009 article



Occidental Petroleum shareholders to have input on executive compensation

'Say-on-pay' campaign has been gaining proponents. The policy, to take effect next year, will give stock owners a nonbinding advisory vote.
By Martin Zimmerman
January 27, 2009
Occidental Petroleum Corp., under fire for the outsized pay of its chief executive, Ray R. Irani, has agreed to give shareholders a limited voice in deciding how much the Los Angeles oil company pays its top executives.

The "say-on-pay" policy will give shareholders a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation decisions made by the company's board of directors, Occidental said Monday. The new policy will go into effect at the company's 2010 annual meeting.

After the board approved the policy, a group of corporate activists agreed to drop a say-on-pay proposal they planned to present at this year's annual meeting. Similar proposals received significant support at Occidental's 2007 and 2008 meetings but failed to pass.

"We are extremely pleased that Occidental's board recognizes the importance of shareholder input on compensation decisions that have the potential to affect their investments," Daniel Stranahan of the Needmor Fund, which led the campaign for the advisory vote resolution, said in a statement.

In addition, the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees and the AFL-CIO agreed to withdraw shareholder proposals affecting company policies on stock ownership and death benefits for top executives, Occidental said.


Irani, who received $77.6 million in compensation in 2007 and $55.5 million in 2006, has been a target of critics who contend that shareholders should have more power to rein in what some say is excessive pay.

The topic has caught the attention of Congress, which is seeking to put restrictions on executive pay at companies that receive money under the federal government's current bailout programs. Occidental said Monday that it supports efforts in Washington to set a uniform standard on executive pay and to require advisory shareholder votes on pay at all U.S. public companies.

"Say on pay gives investors both small and large an opportunity to express directly to the company their view of executive compensation," Occidental spokesman Richard Kline said.




Los Angeles Times

Copyright 2009 Los Angeles Times




This Forum program is open, free of charge, to anyone concerned with investor interests relating to shareholder advisory voting on executive compensation, referred to by activists as "Say on Pay." As stated in the posted Conditions of Participation, the Forum's purpose is to provide decision-makers with access to information and a free exchange of views on the issues presented in the program's Forum Summary. Each participant is expected to make independent use of information obtained through the Forum, subject to the privacy rights of other participants.  It is a Forum rule that participants will not be identified or quoted without their explicit permission.

The organization of this Forum program was supported by Sibson Consulting to address issues relevant to broad public interests in marketplace practices, rather than investor decisions relating to only a single company. The Forum may therefore invite program support of several companies that can provide both expertise and examples of performance leadership relating to the issues being addressed.

Inquiries about this Forum program and requests to be included in its distribution list may be addressed to

The information provided to Forum participants is intended for their private reference, and permission has not been granted for the republishing of any copyrighted material. The material presented on this web site is the responsibility of Gary Lutin, as chairman of the Shareholder Forum.