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Addressing market speculation and media reports, Occidental Petroleum's (NYSE: OXY ) board of directors has categorically denied that there is a CEO succession tussle within the company. In a statement posted on the company's website, it said there is no "fight at the top" over the leadership of the firm.
This refers to reports that ex-CEO and current board member Ray Irani was pushing to replace outgoing CEO Stephen Chazen, which Occidental said were "innacurate."
"All decisions regarding CEO succession planning were made over many meetings by the independent directors alone in executive session, in accordance with best governance practices," the company asserted. It added that Irani neither attended nor played a role in these proceedings.
Occidental has been hunting for a replacement CEO for some time. It has formed a search committee composed of several directors and retained an executive search company to aid it in that process.
In its statement, the company also said that the 78-year-old Irani will step down from the board at the end of 2014.