The California Public Employees Retirement System board unanimously picked Rob Feckner, a 27-year school employee and union official, as...

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Public Employees Retirement System board unanimously picked Rob Feckner, a 27-year school employee and union official, as its president yesterday, replacing ousted labor leader Sean Harrigan.

Feckner, chosen in a 12-0 vote, pledged to continue the $183 billion pension fund’s traditional activism, saying it would spotlight “excessive executive compensation” and other corporate governance reforms.

Feckner, the board’s vice president since 2003 and chair of its key investment committee, also promised a more “laser-like” focus on corporate reform issues and said he would be less visible nationally than his predecessor.

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Harrigan, a United Food and Commercial Workers union official, traveled widely and led numerous initiatives critical of corporate America, including moves to unseat chief executive officers of the Walt Disney Co. and Safeway. Joining the CalPERS board in 1999 and elected president in February 2003, Harrigan was ousted from his post by fellow members of the state Board of Personnel in December.

Harrigan charged that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Disney and Safeway officials, led a behind-the-scenes effort to remove him — a charge denied by Schwarzenegger.

Feckner, 47, is a glazing specialist with the Napa Unified School District. He has also been a school-bus driver and instruction assistant for special-needs students.