Chesapeake appoints new chairman, directors; Chosen by Icahn, Southeastern
SAABIRA CHAUDHURI, Dow Jones Newswires
Chesapeake Energy Corp. has 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.