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Chesapeake reorganizes amid layoff reports

The company would not confirm it was cutting jobs, but email accounts of several employees are no longer active.
BY JAY F. MARKS Modified: September 10, 2013 at 9:36 pm •  Published: September 10, 2013

Chesapeake Energy Corp. laid out a new organizational structure Tuesday amid multiple reports of layoffs at the Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas company.

Chesapeake has declined to comment on possible layoffs, but email accounts for several company employees are no longer active.

Spokesman Gordon Pennoyer issued a statement Tuesday afternoon that did not address the layoff reports.

“Chesapeake is transitioning key leadership positions and making adjustments to its organization to properly align resources, reduce expenses, and improve its operating and competitive performance,” he said. “The company's focus remains on financial discipline and profitable and efficient growth from captured resources. We look forward to realizing Chesapeake's full potential for our shareholders and employees.”

Asked about specific managers, Pennoyer said, “We will have no comment beyond what I sent you.”

CEO Doug Lawler told employees that additional organizational changes are expected in the coming weeks.

“During this time, it is imperative that each of us maintain our focus on safety and execute our day-to-day duties in an operationally prudent manner,” Lawler wrote in an email to employees Tuesday afternoon. “We thank you for your patience and dedication as we work together to transform our company.”

Chairman Archie Dunham hinted at possible job reductions last summer after he was tabbed to replace co-founder Aubrey McClendon at the head of the company's board.

He said Chesapeake's cost structure should be on par with peers like Devon Energy Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

Both companies had about half as many employees as Chesapeake last year, despite much larger market capitalizations.

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