Relational Investors wants seats on Occidental's board

CalSTRS’ pay czar Ralph Whitworth wants to unseat the Occidental Petroleum board that made CEO Ray Irani one of the highest paid executives in the nation.

Irani made $857 million over the past decade, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

So Whitworth, who heads San Diego’s Relational Investors LLC, is teaming up with the California Teachers retirement system to knock some heads at OXY, according to the Journal.

The New York Times’ DealBook obtained CalSTRS and Relational’s letter, which you can read here.

Relational and Calstrs Letter to Occidental Petroleum

Whitworth tells DealBook that he senses “a palpable level of disgust among investor base here.”

Really? Where is “here?” Are we talking Ralph’s posh Rancho Santa Fe neighborhood?

Yes, Irani is overpaid. But Occidental shares returned 873 percent over the past decade.

What about Oracle? CalSTRS has 6.7 million shares in Oracle, whose CEO Larry Ellison, is the No. 1 most overpaid executive at a publicly-traded firm in the US, if not the world.

Ellison earned $1.85 billion in compensation over the past decade (more than double Irani’s pay), while Oracle’s shares returned far less. Why not kick up a fuss on the Oracle board?

Or what about Barry Diller who actually lost money for shareholders over the past decade (including CalSTRS) while taking home $1.1 billion in compensation.

And how about Whitworth, the man who paid Paul McCartney $1 million to sing at his now ex-wife’s Rancho Santa Fe birthday party? How much does he make? He won’t tell us, and since he works for a private company, he doesn’t have to.

Well, what about the money Whitworth paid to middlemen like Tullig Inc. to land CalPERS as his biggest investor?

And how much has this “activist” style of investing generated for CalSTRS?

Far, far less than Occidental Petroleum did.


  1. Deep Throat

    I wonder what one might find were they to do a thorough investigation of Mr. Whitworth’s personal finances? Would a vulgar, braggart conceal such information if he was doing as well as he wanted people to think? Probably not one might surmise.

    The email address is not real – I have to remain anonymous.

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