Chesapeake Energy Corp. has named Chief Operating Officer Steve Dixon as interim CEO and has created a three-person “office of the chairman” to lead the company while directors continue to search for a new leader, the Oklahoma City energy company said late Friday.
The new office is comprised of Dixon, Chairman Archie Dunham and Chief Financial Officer Nick Dell'Osso Jr.
The team will manage day-to-day operations in place of co-founder Aubrey McClendon, who has agreed to step down as CEO on Monday.
“Steve and Nick are both playing key leadership roles as the company accelerates the realization of the substantial intrinsic value of our world-class oil and gas assets for the benefit of all Chesapeake stakeholders,” Dunham said in a statement.
Dunham on Friday also sent an email to employees describing the change.
The chairman said the board “has tremendous respect for and confidence in Steve and Nick and the company's excellent management team,” and that the board and management share a strategic vision for the future of the company.
“This is an exciting time for Chesapeake,” Dunham wrote to employees.
“We continue to perform exceptionally well and are successfully executing our strategy to increase liquids production, drive capital efficiencies across the business and enhance financial flexibility to prudently fund growth. ... I'm confident in our strategy and our future success.”
Dunham praised McClendon and expressed confidence in Dixon's management in the future.
“We are all thankful to Aubrey for his many contributions over the last 24 years in helping to build the company to this point,” Dunham said.
“The next phase of our company's growth requires operational excellence, balance sheet discipline, cost control, environmental and safety focus and a commitment to all of our stakeholders that everything we do will be done with the highest standard of corporate and personal integrity. Steve has those skills. He has the reins, and he knows the path forward.”