Yesterday, after the news was released that Aubrey McClendon would step down as President of Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK) on the 1st of April 2013, stock in the company soared by nearly 10%.
McClendon took the decision himself to retire from the company where he has been Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chairman of the Board since founding the company in 1989. He was removed as Chairman in 2012 after it was discovered that he had used company assets to secure private loans, he will now retire as president in April, and will only remain as the CEO until a successor is appointed.
Upon making the decision to step down McClendon stated: “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.”
Archie W. Dunham, the new Chairman of the Board after McClendon was deposed last year, commented that, “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. 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.”
Heidrick & Struggles, the executive search and recruitment firm, will be used to help Chesapeake find an appropriate successor to take the position of CEO, and McClendon himself will also be consulted, as both internal and external candidates are reviewed.
The next jump in stock value for Chesapeake will likely occur when another major oil company decides to merge or takeover Chesapeake. After all, even Carl Icahn says that Chesapeake has a collection of assets that can be described as “the best portfolio of energy assets in the country.”
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
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