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Chesapeake Energy defends new director

Chesapeake Energy Corp. defended its newest director, Thomas L. Ryan, in a letter to shareholder after two advisory group's recommended voting against him at next week's annual meeting.
BY JAY F. MARKS Published: June 6, 2013

Chesapeake noted Ryan was highly recommended by Southeastern Asset Management, the company's largest shareholder. He also intends to reduce his commitments by the end of the year, Corporate Secretary Jennifer Grigsby wrote Tuesday in a letter to shareholders.

“We believe this is strong evidence of his commitment to Chesapeake and hope that you show your support by casting your vote ‘for' Mr. Ryan,” Grigsby wrote.

ISS opposes Chesapeake's executive compensation plan because of “problematic provisions” in former CEO Aubrey McClendon's severance package, but the company countered that the board reduced McClendon's severance benefits by 20 percent in December when it cut his employment contract from five years to four.

McClendon received nearly $40 million in cash and other benefits when he left the company on April 1.

Shareholders will vote on the measures at June 14's annual meeting.