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Chesapeake lays off 640 workers in Oklahoma City

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm •  Published: October 8, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Chesapeake Energy Corp. said Tuesday it is laying off 800 workers across the oil and natural gas exploration and production company, including 640 at its Oklahoma City headquarters.

The layoffs were announced in a letter that CEO Doug Lawler sent to employees. In it, he said the corporate restructuring process has made Chesapeake "poised to grow for decades to come."

"By scaling E&P support services, reducing management layers and aligning resources with a sharpened focus on accountability and efficiency, we have created a business built to deliver a sustainable and profitable future," Lawler said.

Chesapeake spokesman Brent Gooden said the company still employs 3,500 people at its corporate headquarters and 6,000 across Oklahoma. Chesapeake still employs a total of about 11,000 people despite having about 1,200 leave the company since the start of 2013.

The layoffs are the latest changes in what has been a turbulent year for the company. In January, it announced that former CEO and company founder Aubrey McClendon would resign on April 1 over what Chesapeake officials called "philosophical differences." McClendon, who founded Chesapeake in 1989, was stripped of his position as chairman of the company's board in May 2012.

Senior vice presidents Tom Price and Henry Hood left the company one month after McClendon's departure. In August, the company announced that four other top executives — executive vice presidents Steve Dixon and Jeff Fisher, and senior vice presidents Steve Miller and Martha Burger — also had left the company as part of its reorganization effort. Dixon also served as chief operating officer.

Last month, Chesapeake announced the layoffs of 86 people in 11 different departments.

In his letter to employees, Lawler said the workforce reduction completes a reorganization process he announced after taking over as CEO in June.

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