Chevron Shareholders Reject Splitting CEO, Chairman Roles

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Chevron Corp. shareholders voted down a proposal to designate an independent chairman, leaving John Watson to continue holding both the chairman and chief executive roles.

The move to split the two roles was defeated by approximately 81 percent of the votes at Chevron's 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders in Midland, Texas, on Wednesday.

According to Reuters, the vote casts further doubt on the long-running campaign by shareholder activists to force large U.S. corporations to separate the positions, which they say would support greater oversight and transparency. The proposal was sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association.

The San Ramon-based oil company said the flexibility to decide for itself whether the roles should be combined was key to staying competitive, the news outlet reported.

"The board votes every year on keeping the positions together and this year was no different," Watson said at the meeting.

Chevron is just the latest company to reject the call to split the top roles. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp. turned down similar proposals in the past year. On the other hand, Bank of America Corp. shareholders approved a similar measure.

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