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.