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Chesapeake's embattled CEO McClendon to retire

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2013 at 5:44 pm •  Published: January 29, 2013

As the financial strain on the company increased, a controversial arrangement between McClendon and the company came under renewed scrutiny. McClendon was allowed to buy personal stakes in each well Chesapeake drilled. To finance these stakes he borrowed nearly $1 billion from a company that bought oil and gas assets from Chesapeake, raising conflict-of-interest concerns.

Last spring, Chesapeake's largest shareholder, Southeastern Asset Management, called for changes in the company's management and business strategy. McClendon stepped down as chairman and the majority of the board was replaced by candidates approved by Southeastern and activist investor Carl Icahn.

Chesapeake said it will release the results of its review of the financing arrangements and other deals between McClendon and the company on Feb. 21. But the company said the decision to replace McClendon is not a result of the review, which it said has uncovered no improper conduct.

In a statement, McClendon cited philosophical differences with the new board, but said he would work with the company to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership.

Icahn said in a statement Thursday that McClendon should be proud of the company he built and that he amassed "the best portfolio of energy assets in the country."

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