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She Persisted and Everyone Lost

I hate victim mentalities.

I hate when people pander to a crowd to gain favor.

When Oxy acquired Anadarko, I have never rolled my eyes harder than when PinkPetro released a blog called “She Persisted.”

The “She” is in reference to Oxy’s CEO, Vicki Hollub.

You can read it here if you don’t mind throwing up a little in your mouth.

Now before I get into this post, let me be extremely clear that gender has nothing to do with my criticism of the Oxy-Anadarko deal. 99.9% of E&P CEO’s are males and they get drug out on Twitter every single day.

My beef is with people who have blind love during one of the largest cases of capital destruction because #girlpower.

In case you have been living under a rock, Oxy was involved in a dramatic acquisition of Anadarko in a deal that was valued at $55 billion.

It involved everything you needed for good entertainment, billionaire investors Warren Buffet and Carl Icahn going head-to-head, Chevron getting cut out of the deal last-minute and reaping a $1 billion cash payment as a result, and much more.

The deal was highly criticized by many and thought of as a bad move for Oxy.

This is what led PinkPetro to write a piece on how the criticism was unjust and only happening because Oxy is led by a female CEO.

Let me pull out some quotes from this blog, some little nuggets.

But when a real business woman with experience and a vision sets her eyes on something and takes a risk, she’s lambasted. Wow. We have so far to go.”

“The activism Oxy has been putting up with from bully shareholders and the public is ridiculous.”

“Give her the chance every man would have been automatically given.”

PinkPetro goes on to end the blog with this:

She wanted Anadarko and they persisted. Now Oxy will show the market and the villains how it’s done.”

Well, it’s been roughly 7 months since the PinkPetro blog was written, so let’s take a live look at Oxy’s performance and see how they’ve “shown the villains.”

As I’m writing this today, Oxy’s entire market cap is $9.69 billion. The company is worth 20% of the amount they paid for Anadarko.

There have been many events around this transaction that can be discussed in another post, but as the company has destroyed value for shareholders, employees, and wrecked retirements accounts for many, Oxy management continues to make decisions that protect their self-interest.

You can Google the proxy battle that has been brewing with billionaire investor, Carl Icahn and how Oxy took a suicide pill to protect from him taking over the company, but I think this video I made perfectly depicts the situation.

Several days ago, Vicki sent out a corporate email to all employees explaining that many O&G companies won’t make it out of this crisis and some measurements will have to be taken, some that are permanent and some that are temporary.

That’s a cryptic message for all who are expecting the worst.

I think it’s important to highlight that this isn’t just the result of a crash in commodity prices. When the Anadarko deal was done, critics didn’t know that we were moving into a $20 price environment, the deal was bad before that.

As time has passed, the critics were right and it had absolutely nothing to do with gender bias.

I have many friends that work at Oxy, all good people and there are thousands more that I don’t know whose livelihoods are at serious risk.

Meanwhile, Oxy management continues to make last-minute changes to corporate governance and protect their self-interest.

Surely, Pink Petro will have changed their tune on this topic given the circumstances, but I’ll just post this tweet from a couple of weeks ago.

Cut the shit, Katie.

Let’s start having some accountability in this industry, men and women.

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