Occidental Petroleum Corp. is reportedly planning to tap Stephen Chazen, the Houston-based company’s former CEO, to serve as its board chairman.

The appointment is being considered to appease Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor who has been battling the Occidental board over its 2019 acquisition of rival Anadarko Petroleum, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on March 18. Citing people familiar with the matter, the report said his appointment could be announced in the coming days, assuming discussions don't fall apart.

Chazen, who retired from Occidental in April 2016 after roughly five years at its helm, had previously been approached by Icahn to be one his director nominees to the Occidental board. He currently serves as chairman and CEO of Magnolia Oil & Gas Corp., an independent oil producer with assets located in the Eagle Ford Shale and Austin Chalk formations in South Texas.

Last week, Occidental implemented a “poison pill” aimed at stopping investors from amassing more than a 15% stake—a day after Icahn disclosed he had boosted his holdings in the company to nearly 10% from 2.53%. Icahn, who has been pushing the company to consider putting itself up for sale, is seeking to replace Occidental’s entire board, WSJ reported on March 11.

The acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum completed last August continues to burden Occidental’s balance sheet, “significantly compromising its financial flexibility to confront the collapse in oil prices,” said Andrew Brooks, vice president with Moody’s Investors Service, in a statement on March 18. As a result, Moody’s downgraded Occidental’s debt rating to “junk” status.

Despite being the largest oil and gas deal in the U.S. of the past decade, Moody’s cited the stress imposed on Occidental’s credit metrics by its purchase of Anadarko Petroleum to be approximately $40 billion in acquisition-related debt. The plunge in oil prices has also added to the company’s woes, with Occidental last week announcing plans to slash its dividend and implement further cost-cutting measures.

Reuters contributed to this report.