The embattled gas and oil driller Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced a board overhaul early Monday, promising to add four new directors suggested by big shareholders in addition to the new and independent chairman it expects to name by June 22.
Investors applauded, sending shares up more than 6 percent (and an additional 3 percent Tuesday morning). But the new plan will require some complex choreography.
First, some numbers: Chesapeake is now committed to adding five fresh faces to its nine-member board, and has said it will not expand the group beyond nine. That means that at least four current directors must step down. The question is, which ones?
Not Aubrey McClendon. The company's beleaguered founder and CEO, while prepared to relinquish his chairmanship as soon as a replacement is found, has no plans to step off the board, according to Monday's press release and people familiar with the matter — despite calls by some shareholders and analysts to resign his post entirely. (McClendon has been dogged in recent months by revelations that he ran a hedge fund for four years that invested in natural gas alongside his work as Chesapeake's CEO, as well as by details about loans he received from parties that were also doing business with Chesapeake, some of which were used to help fund McClendon's investments in company wells.)Page 1 of 5 | Next Page