Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Doug Lawler on Tuesday acknowledged what many employees have feared.
“Future staffing adjustments will likely be necessary to properly align resources and improve our overall operating and competitive performance,” Lawler said Tuesday in an internal email to Chesapeake employees.
In the email, Lawler said the company is working to continue its focus on financial discipline and that a “comprehensive review of all areas of our business is underway.”
“While Chesapeake is a strong and resilient organization that reflects our incredibly talented employees, we must adapt our organizational structure to become a sustainable, profitable company in the energy sector,” Lawler said in the statement.
Lawler said the review is expected to be complete by Nov. 1.
A Chesapeake representative declined further comment Tuesday.
“Change is not easy, but the future success of Chesapeake requires that all of our resources, including employees, assets, strategy and values, are aligned to secure our position as a top performing oil and gas company,” Lawler said in Tuesday’s memo.
The email offered no specifics about job losses or other changes.
Chesapeake said in August that four executives were leaving the company because of the ongoing reorganization effort.
The company has not addressed whether there have been other layoffs, although The Oklahoman has confirmed that several employees have been laid off recently.
Chesapeake Chairman Archie Dunham hinted at possible job cuts when he took over the board last summer. He said at the time that Chesapeake’s cost structure should be in line with peers like Devon Energy Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
Both companies had about half as many employees as Chesapeake, despite much larger market capitalizations.
Chesapeake had more than 13,000 employees at that time, but its most recent annual report in April set the count at about 12,000. The company had more than 4,700 employees in Oklahoma City as of Jan. 31, according to a report it provided to the city in March.
Lawler pledged to stay in communication with employees.
“We are working diligently to manage this process in a professional and thoughtful manner. My commitment to you is to maintain the values of our company — specifically integrity, trust, transparency, and open communication. I assure you that we will share information as quickly and appropriately as possible throughout this process,” Lawler said in Tuesday’s email.
“Change is not easy, but the future success of Chesapeake requires that all of our resources, including employees, assets, strategy and values, are aligned to secure our position as a top performing oil and gas company.”
Chesapeake shares added 64 cents, or 2.4 percent, Tuesday to close at $27.16 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock price is up 29 percent since Lawler became CEO on June 17.