McClendon co-founded Chesapeake in 1989 with Tom Ward, who is now CEO of Oklahoma City-based SandRidge Energy Inc.
Ward praised his former partner Tuesday.
“Aubrey is a great friend, a great leader who built a great company,” he said.
McClendon said he is proud of his accomplishments at Chesapeake.
“Over the past 24 years, I have had the privilege of developing Chesapeake into one of the world's premier energy companies. It has been an honor to work with my outstanding management team and the company's 12,000 very talented and dedicated employees,” McClendon said. “I am extremely proud of what we have built over the last quarter of a century, and I am confident that Chesapeake is in a great position to continue to grow and achieve great success in the future as it realizes the full value of its outstanding assets.”
Chesapeake, the nation's second-largest natural gas producer, has been turning its attention to oil and other liquids. The company has built up substantial holdings in many of the nation's leading resource plays.
Chesapeake said Tuesday it is committed to its existing $6 billion drilling and completion budget for this year. It also will proceed with planned asset sales and other programs meant to slash the company's long-term debt.
“Going forward, the company will strive to continue as a low cost producer of oil and gas while further enhancing and strengthening its balance sheet,” Dunham said. “Capital allocation and operating decisions will be made with the goal of prudently growing the company's intrinsic value per share for the long-term benefit of its shareholders.
“By forging ahead with a new chief executive officer, the company's strong management team and talented employees will continue to develop the industry's best assets to create substantial value for shareholders and themselves in the years ahead.”
Energy Editor Adam Wilmoth