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Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon to step down

Filed by KOSU News in Feature.
January 29, 2013

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From my interview with StateImpact Oklahoma’s Joe Wertz:

On Aubrey McClendon’s legacy:

“McClendon is an innovative entrepreneur.  He built that company, Chesapeake is his.  Aubrey is Chesapeake, through and through.  His legacy is that he is an aggressive, innovated, wild cat of all kinds.”

“McClendon really revolutionized some of these land yields.  Some of the big bad unconventional gas drillings were really McClendon’s mark and many of his bets have paid off for the company.”

On what spurred the retirement: 

“The Reuters report, I think, had everything to do with McClendon’s retirement.”

On McClendon’s impact on the industry:

“The company certainly has came a long way since he founded it, and lot of other companies have followed Chesapeake’s lead in investigating in some of these unconventional gas plays and a lot of what we’re seeing with the natural gas revolution is in line with Aubrey’s ideas.”

On what this means for Oklahoma going forward:

“The essential question is that Aubrey’s successor going to be an Oklahoman. The board is being replaced by the company with non-Oklahomans and we are talking about a difference between shareholder’s interest and Oklahomans interest and they may not necessary align.”


In a press release posted Tuesday, Oklahoma City based Chesapeake Energy announced it’s co-founder and leader Aubrey McClendon will retirm from the company job April 1, 2013. He has led the company for more than 24 years, but recently faced scrutiny over personal dealings with the company. The Board is scheduled to release detailed findings on McClendon’s arrangements next month.

Reuters first reported McClendon used his investment in wells drilled by the company as collateral on a billion dollar loan from EIG Global Energy Partners, a firm that has done business with Chesapeake. (past reports from Reuters: here, here, and here)

Under his leadership, Chesapeake collected large swaths of rights to natural gas, but also debt that had started to weigh on the company. The oil and natural gas producer had set ambitious targets to sell a large piece of its assets, more than $10 billion worth in just the past year alone.

In the statement, McClendon cited “philosophical differences with the new board”, but said he’ll work to ensure a smooth transition to a new CEO.

In after hours trading, Chesapeake is up more than 8% on the news of McClendon’s departure.

News reports indicate in a memo to employees, the company is not for sale.

StateImpact Oklahoma is also covering the news, find their coverage by clicking here.

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