Reuters: Chesapeake CEO Losing Chairmanship, Keeping Powers

  • Joe Wertz

Scott Detrow / StateImapct Pennsylvania

Aubrey McClendon might be losing his title as chairman, but the Chesapeake Energy CEO will get to keep powers he had as leader of the board, according to a change in the company’s bylaws.

Following the board’s move, taken after the annual shareholders’ meeting on Friday, McClendon and the still-unnamed chairman each hold the power to call special meetings of shareholders and the board of directors, Reuters’ Anna Driver reports.

A corporate governance researcher tells Reuters it makes sense for the CEO to be able to call a board meeting, but the board or its chairman usually has the authority to call special shareholder meetings:

“But I don’t understand why the CEO, who is management, should have the right to call a special meeting of shareholders,” said Paul Hodgson of GMI Ratings.

Two board members, Burns Hargis and Richardson Davidson, resigned last week after shareholders rejected their re-election. Board member and former U.S. Senator Don Nickles says directors were “getting close” to naming a new independent chairman, which the company said will be announced on or before June 22.