Report update: Occidental Petroleum receives 63% after consecutive years at 90%+

Report update:  Occidental Petroleum receives 63% after consecutive years at 90%+Download PDF

We collected results for 191 more companies this week, bringing our total to 549 for the season. We continue to see high support, with 93% of companies passing with over 70% shareholder approval (this is identical to 2011 – and slightly higher than in 2012). Year-over-year, we observe that fewer companies are failing Say on Pay (to date, six companies this year, or 1.1% of the sample; 2.6% of the sample failed in 2012) and receiving ISS ‘against’ recommendations (to date, 10% of companies; this compares with 14% of companies in 2012). In our “Vote of the Week,” we discuss Occidental Petroleum, which received 63% vote support in 2013 after receiving votes above 90% in both 2012 and 2011. The decline in support may have been driven by the value of CEO and Executive Chairman pay packages, discretionary nature of annual incentive program, problematic pay practices, and governance issues related to succession planning and the Executive Chairman’s tenure (76% of shareholders voted against reelecting the Executive Chairman). Occidental announced several governance and compensation program changes after the proxy filing, which led to a subsequent proxy advisor recommendation reversal and may have elevated support for Say on Pay above 50%.