McClendon stepping down at Chesapeake
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Aubrey McClendon, the petroleum landman who started Chesapeake Energy Corp. from the ground up and built it into one of the nation’s biggest natural gas producers only to lose power when the company floundered in debt, will step down as CEO effective April 1.
A Chesapeake press release announced McClendon’s imminent departure Tuesday afternoon. McClendon, 53, lost his chairmanship of the company’s board last year amid a financial collapse due to falling natural gas prices and Chesapeake’s lack of liquidity.
The press release did not name who would succeed McClendon heading up day-to-day Chesapeake operations.
“Over the past 24 years, Aubrey McClendon has created one of the most valuable and innovative companies in the energy industry,” Archie Dunham, the former Conoco Inc. CEO who stepped in as Chesapeake chairman of the board last year. “Under Aubrey’s strong leadership, Chesapeake has built an unmatched portfolio of natural gas and oil assets in creating one of the world’s leading energy companies.”
Dunham called McClendon a pioneer in the leading the U.S. shale revolution, developing historic natural gas reserves found within shale deposits deep beneath the earth’s surface. Chesapeake held leases on millions of net acres in most of the nation’s predominant shale plays.
“However, as the company moves towards more fully developing the value of its outstanding assets, Chesapeake is at an important transition in its history and Aubrey and the Board of Directors have agreed that the time has come for the company to select a new leader. The Board will be working collaboratively with Aubrey to make a smooth transition to Chesapeake’s next Chief Executive Officer.”