Chesapeake Energy Corporation Announces CEO Succession Plan

Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:09pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Aubrey K. McClendon to Retire from the Company on April 1, 2013

Board Announces that its Extensive Review of Alleged Conflicts of Interest and
Other Matters Involving McClendon Has to Date Found No Improper Conduct, Final
Report to be Completed in Mid-February

OKLAHOMA CITY--(Business Wire)--
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) today announced that its Co-founder,
Chief Executive Officer and President, Aubrey K. McClendon, has agreed to retire
from the company on April 1, 2013 and will continue to serve as Chief Executive
Officer until his successor is appointed. Mr. McClendon, 53, has served as
Chesapeake`s Chief Executive Officer since the inception of the company in 1989
and served as Chairman of the Board from its founding until 2012. 

Archie W. Dunham, Chairman of the Board, stated: "Over the past 24 years, Aubrey
McClendon has created one of the most valuable and innovative companies in the
energy industry. 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. He has been a pioneer in the development of
unconventional resources, and he has also been a leader in the effort to make
the United States energy independent. 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." 

Mr. Dunham continued: "Going forward, the company will strive to continue as a
low cost producer of oil and gas while further enhancing and strengthening its
balance sheet. Capital allocation and operating decisions will be made with the
goal of prudently growing the company`s intrinsic value per share for the
long-term benefit of its shareholders. By forging ahead with a new Chief
Executive Officer, the company`s strong management team and talented employees
will continue to develop the industry`s best assets to create substantial value
for shareholders and themselves in the years ahead." 

Aubrey K. McClendon, Chesapeake`s Chief Executive Officer, said: "Over the past
24 years, I have had the privilege of developing Chesapeake into one of the
world`s premier energy companies. It has been an honor to work with my
outstanding management team and the company`s 12,000 very talented and dedicated
employees. I am extremely proud of what we have built over the last quarter of a
century, and I am confident that Chesapeake is in a great position to continue
to grow and achieve great success in the future as it realizes the full value of
its outstanding assets. While I have certain philosophical differences with the
new Board, I look forward to working collaboratively with the company and the
Board to provide a smooth transition to new leadership for the company." 

The Board expects to release the results of its previously announced review of
the financing arrangements, and other matters, between Mr. McClendon (and the
entities through which he participates in the Founder Well Participation
Program) and any third party that has had or may have a relationship with the
company in any capacity, in its earnings announcement scheduled for release
before market open on February 21, 2013. The Board`s extensive review to date
has not revealed improper conduct by Mr. McClendon. 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. 

The Board has retained Heidrick & Struggles to assist the Board in its search of
Mr. McClendon`s successor. The Board also intends to consult with Mr. McClendon
in connection with this search. The search process will include a full review of
internal and external candidates. 

During this interim period, Mr. McClendon will work closely with Steven C.
Dixon, Chief Operating Officer, and Domenic J. Dell`Osso, Jr., Chief Financial
Officer, to transition certain day-to-day management responsibilities in advance
of the completion of the search process for the new Chief Executive Officer. The
company and the Board are committed to its current drilling program with respect
to its existing $6.0 billion drilling and completion budget for 2013, its
ongoing asset sales program and intention to reduce the company`s long-term

Mr. McClendon will resign from the Board of Directors at the time his successor
is appointed and will receive his full compensation and other benefits to which
he is entitled in accordance with the terms of his employment agreement. Mr.
McClendon will continue to be an important partner with the company given his
stock ownership as well as his interests in certain of the company`s wells in
connection with the Founder Well Participation Program, which will terminate on
June 30, 2014. 

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) is the second-largest producer of
natural gas, a Top 15 producer of oil and natural gas liquids and the most
active driller of new wells in the U.S. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the
company's operations are focused on discovering and developing unconventional
natural gas and oil fields onshore in the U.S. Chesapeake owns leading positions
in the Eagle Ford, Utica, Granite Wash, Cleveland, Tonkawa, Mississippi Lime and
Niobrara unconventional liquids plays and in the Marcellus, Haynesville/Bossier
and Barnett unconventional natural gas shale plays. The company also owns
substantial marketing and oilfield services businesses through its subsidiaries
Chesapeake Energy Marketing, Inc. and Chesapeake Oilfield Operating, L.L.C.
Further information is available at where Chesapeake routinely posts
announcements, updates, events, investor information, presentations and news

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" that give Chesapeake's
current expectations or forecasts of future events.Although we believe the
expectations and forecasts reflected in our forward-looking statements are
reasonable, we can give no assurance they will prove to have been correct.They
can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and
uncertainties, and actual results may differ from the expectation expressed.We
caution you not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements, which
speak only as of the date of this news release, and we undertake no obligation
to update this information.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation
Investor Contacts:
Jeffrey L. Mobley, CFA, 405-767-4763
Gary T. Clark, CFA, 405-935-6741
Media Contacts:
Michael Kehs, 405-935-2560
Jim Gipson, 405-935-1310

Copyright Business Wire 2013