HOUSTON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy Corp, the second largest U.S. producer of natural gas, on Monday said current director and former Saks Inc Chief Executive Brad Martin has been named non-executive chairman of its board, effective immediately.
He replaces Archie Dunham, who helped Chesapeake navigate a governance and liquidity crisis that occurred under the watch of former CEO Aubrey McClendon. Dunham, a former ConocoPhillips CEO, will remain a director and has been named chairman emeritus.
Martin, chairman of Tennessee-based investment firm RBM Ventures was named as a Chesapeake director in June 2012 when the company’s top investors Carl Icahn and O. Mason Hawkins at Southeastern Asset Management took control of the board. Martin was brought in by Hawkins.
Chesapeake, the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma company which has a hefty debt load and broad exposure to low-priced natural gas, has been battered in the oil price rout. So far this year the company’s stock has fallen nearly 60 percent. That compares with a 23 percent drop in the SIG Exploration and Production Index . (Reporting by Anna Driver; Editing by Tom Brown)