McClendon, the only chief executive Chesapeake has ever had, was not part of the company’s fourth quarter earnings call on Thursday.
The conference call with analysts was led by Steve Dixon and Nick Dell’Osso, the two executives Chesapeake chairman Archie Dunham said last month would lead the company through its transition as McClendon departs the company.
Chesapeake announced Jan. 29 that McClendon had agreed to leave the company.
McClendon has not spoken publicly about his impending departure from the company he founded in 1989 with former partner Tom Ward.
Jeff Mobley, Chesapeake’s senior vice president of investor relations and research, addressed McClendon’s looming separation from the company at the outset of Thursday’s earnings call.
“As you know, Aubrey McClendon, the company’s co-founder and CEO, will retire from the company on April 1, 2013. And after leading the company during our first 80 conference calls, he is now steeping aside for Steve and Nick to lead this call. In addition, a search is currently underway for a new CEO, and the board plans to complete this search by that time.
Aubrey has had a remarkable career founding and leading Chesapeake and has created one of the most valuable and innovative companies in the global energy industry. Two of Aubrey’s most important accomplishments are the tremendous asset base that has been amassed by the company and the talented and dedicated organization he built to develop these assets.
The culture and capabilities of the company Aubrey created and the standards of excellence he championed had been distinctive and inspiring, resulting in a company with extraordinary potential. But his legacy will ultimately be the realization of that potential through the success and value that we all helped deliver after his tenure as CEO concludes. With those thoughts in mind and in behalf of nearly 12,000 employees at Chesapeake, we want to sincerely thank Aubrey for his visionary leadership and for his 24 years of tireless service to the company, to shareholders, to employees, and to the industry.”
Chesapeake expects to have a new CEO in place before April 1, McClendon’s last day at the company.