Changes are afoot in the boardroom of Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY). The company announced that Chairman Ray Irani is to step down from his position. His replacement is the independent Edward Djerejian.

Irani, a former Occidental CEO, was a figure of controversy for his perceived attempts to replace current Chief Executive Stephen Chazen. Several days ago, the company issued a statement saying that Chazen will remain in his post through next year.

Djerejian is a longtime director at Occidental, having occupied a seat in the boardroom since 1996. He has chaired the firm's corporate governance, nominating, and social responsibility committees.

Fool contributor Eric Volkman has no position in Occidental Petroleum. Nor does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.