Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) Chief Fires 4 Top Executives

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) Chief Fires 4 Top Executives

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK)’s newly appointed CEO Robert Douglas Lawler has started reorganizing the top management of the natural gas producer. Lawler said in a memo sent Monday to Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) staff that four senior company executives will depart. He said the reorganization will help Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) become more focused and competitive.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) Chief Fires 4 Top Executives

Chesapeake COO Dixon among outgoing executives

The outgoing executives include chief operating officer Steve Dixon. Mr. Dixon had been with the company since 1991, and recently acted as interim CEO when Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) co-founder Aubrey McClendon stepped down in April. However, many aides of McClendon still remain at the Oklahoma City-based company, according to Daniel Gilbert of The Wall Street Journal.

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Robert Douglas Lawler joined Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) on June 17. He earlier served as the senior vice president of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC). Other executives leaving the natural gas producer are human resources chief Martha Burger, executive vice president Jeff Fisher and senior vice president Steve Miller.

Chesapeake’s inglorious past

Under former CEO Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) raised a lot of debts to finance growth. Within a span of just few years, Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) became the No.2 natural gas producer in the U.S. after Exxon Mobil Corp. However, increasing supply of shale gas pushed the prices down, affecting Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK)’s revenues and earnings.

Last year, the company started selling assets to lower its debt burden and boost its cash flow. Meanwhile, Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) co-founder Aubrey McClendon was accused of intertwining his personal and corporate interests. McClendon had to resign amid rising shareholder pressure. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating into the matter.

But the company seeks to strengthen its finances and boost revenues under the new leadership. Mr. Lawler has pledged to cut down the expenditure and focus on the company’s profitable assets. Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK)’s second quarter earnings plummeted about 40% to $580 million. However, oil production jumped 44% from the same period last year.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) shares were down 0.20% to $24.97 at 9:58 AM EDT.

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