Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Names New Chairman & Board Members

Chesapeake Energy Corporation appointed Archie W. Dunham, the former chairman of ConocoPhillips as its new independent chairman, along with naming four new independent directors to its reconstituted nine-member board.

Mr. Dunham, who formerly also served as chief executive of Conoco, succeeds Aubrey K. McClendon, who remains a director and will continue to serve as Chesapeake's CEO and president.

The board has faced tough scrutiny since it emerged in April that Mr. McClendon has secured loans for more than $1 billion from financial firms that do business with Chesapeake, pledging his stakes in the company's wells as collateral.

The company, which produces more natural gas than any U.S. company after Exxon Mobil Corp.,  has been beset in recent months by decade-low prices for its principal product and a string of governance controversies.

Days before its June 8 annual meeting, the embattled natural gas giant agreed to shuffle its board and allow activist investor Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management Inc. to appoint four new members.

New Directors

  • Archie W. Dunham, 73, is the retired chairman of ConocoPhillips.
  • Bob G. Alexander, 78, is the founder of Alexander Energy Corp.
  • Vincent J. Intrieri, 55, has been employed by Icahn related entities since 1998.
  • R. Brad Martin, 60, is former chairman and CEO of Saks Inc.
  • Frederic M. Poses, 69, is the CEO of Ascend Performance Materials.
Southeastern, Chesapeake's largest holder with a 13.9% stake, has appointed three new members: Bob G. Alexander, R. Brad Martin and Frederic M. Poses.

Mr. Icahn, who owns 7.6%, has appointed his own agent, Vincent Intrieri, to the board. (WSJ, 6/21/2012)

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