May 10 (Reuters) - Oil producer Hess Corp, under pressure from an activist investor, said it plans to appoint a former General Electric Co executive as chairman next week after splitting the roles of chairman and chief executive.
John Krenicki, a former vice-chairman of General Electric, will become non-executive chairman of Hess if elected together with other nominees at the company's annual meeting on Thursday.
Hess said in a statement that its current chairman and chief executive, John Hess, supported the decision.
Hedge fund Elliott Management, which owns a 4.5 percent stake in Hess, has been clamoring for change at the oil and gas producer since January and has launched a campaign to have five new directors appointed.
Proxy advisory firms ISS and Glass Lewis have recommended that Hess shareholders elect the board members nominated by Elliott Management.
Following criticism that its board lacked independence, Hess has assembled its own slate of six directors, including Krenicki and others with experience in the energy sector.
Shareholders will vote on the board nominees at the company's annual meeting on May 16. Hess said it was splitting the top roles after consulting shareholders.
(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Akshay Lodaya) Keywords: HESSCORP SHAREHOLDERS/BOARD
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