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Easing into retirement…

On July 19, Occidental Petroleum (OXY) announced that President Dale Laurance planned to resign at the end of the year for health-related reasons. But the press release never mentioned that Laurance would remain with Occidental as a well-paid consultant following his retirement. That was buried in a consulting contract at the end of Occidental’s recent Q. Laurance, whose salary and bonus was $2.78 million last year, will be paid $41,667 a month through December 31, 2009 under the consulting contract, or about $500,000 a year. Under the terms of the contract, Occidental will also pay for Laurance’s full-time secretary and other reasonable business expenses as well as give him access to the corporate jet on a “when available” basis.