The $416.3 million pay day

Last month we dutifully reported on the compensation for Occidental Petroleum Chairman and CEO Ray Irani. It was very big - $52.8 million, which covered salary, bonus, stock awards and options. But as it turns out, $52.8 million was merely chump change. After throwing in the proceeds of a deferred-shares program that the L.A.-based company ended last year, plus the additional exercising of options, Irani's total now comes to a mind-boggling $416.3 million. That's not a record, but it's getting there: Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison gained $706 million from exercising stock options, while Disney's former CEO, Michael Eisner, picked up $570 million in 1998. From the WSJ:

Dr. Irani, 72 years old, may have more large paydays ahead. Occidental disclosed additional supplemental retirement funds and deferred-compensation plans valued at $124 million, including deferred shares worth $83 million at the end of last year that will be distributed in 2007, according to company officials. He also owned 5.8 million shares at the end of February, including exercisable options with a value of $289.3 million.

Dr. Irani has led the company since December 1990, when he took over for Occidental's legendary founder Armand Hammer. Dr. Irani is well-known for his personal connection with Arab leaders that sometimes allow Occidental to compete for Middle East projects that would otherwise go to larger companies. This past week, the company said it had been prequalified to bid on a $10 billion gas development in Abu Dhabi, joining a select group of large companies, including Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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