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Chesapeake shareholders approve reforms

Chesapeake Energy Corp. shareholders passed reforms Friday that will allow them to nominate their own candidates for board seats while forcing directors to stand for re-election every year.
By Jay F. Marks, Staff Writer Published: June 14, 2014

Chesapeake Energy Corp. shareholders on Friday approved several company-proposed governance reforms, before CEO Doug Lawler touted his faith in the company.

Shareholders overwhelmingly approved measures to declassify Chesapeake’s board, implement proxy access and increase the maximum size of the board. Each received at least 98 percent of votes, according to preliminary results.

Chesapeake has undergone a leadership makeover in the past couple of years after some of its largest shareholders balked at its free-spending ways. Most of its board and senior management have been replaced.

Board Chairman Archie Dunham said Chesapeake’s board, which on Friday added Jack Lipinski to replace retiring Bob Alexander, is dedicated to serving the interests of shareholders.

This year’s annual meeting was Lawler’s first since he took the reins of the Oklahoma City-based oil and gas producer last summer.

Lawler praised Chesapeake and its employees for weathering a significant transformation over the past year. The company laid off 800 employees last year, while plans to spin off its oil-field services business will reduce its employee count even further.

“We’ve accomplished a number of great things, but ... the most exciting time for us is in the future,” he said. “I am more excited today than at any other time in the company that what we can achieve together will lead to Chesapeake being a top performing E&P (exploration and production) company against our peers.”

Lawler said Chesapeake is committed to continual improvement in all aspects of its business in an environmentally sound way.

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