Aubrey McClendon to Retire as Chesapeake Energy CEO

  • Joe Wertz

Chesapeake Energy

Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon will retire April 1, the company announced today.

In a statement, McClendon cited “philosophical differences” between himself and the company’s new board of directors. McClendon will remain as CEO as the Oklahoma City natural gas giant searches for his successor.

Chesapeake recently faced a shareholder revolt and board shakeup after reports surfaced questioning the intertwined finances of McClendon and the company, the country’s second-largest natural gas producer after Exxon Mobil.

Some of Chesapeake’s land purchases have come into question, too, and the company’s financial dealings have been the subject of probes by federal and state investigators.

Archie W. Dunham, Chairman of Chesapeake’s board, said the results of an internal investigation into McClendon’s finances and a controversial CEO perk would be released later this month.

“The Board’s extensive review to date has not revealed improper conduct by Mr. McClendon,” Dunham said in the statement. “The Board and Mr. McClendon’s decision to commence a search for a new leader is not related to the Board’s pending review of his financing arrangements and other matters.”

In an email to Chesapeake employees obtained by StateImpact, Dunham reiterated: “The company is not for sale.”

I would also like to address certain likely points of concern among you. First, the company is not for sale. Second, the board has confirmed the current drilling and completion budget of six billion dollars and is eager to see the exciting recent results of the company’s core of the core development strategy continue. Lastly, the board and management believe strongly in the culture of excellence at Chesapeake and are committed to seeing this culture thrive in the future. The Board has no intention of eliminating childcare, shutting down the Fitness Center, or selling the Company cafeterias.

The Oklahoman has posted a copy of Dunham’s email to Chesapeake employees.