Chesapeake Energy Corp. Chairman Archie Dunham sent an email to company employees Tuesday after CEO Aubrey McClendon announced his pending retirement:
As you may have just read in an email from Aubrey and will see in the press release this evening, the Board of Directors of Chesapeake has mutually agreed and accepted Aubrey McClendon's resignation as CEO effective upon appointment of his successor, and retirement from the company, effective April 1, 2013. The decision was made in full recognition and appreciation for the enormous achievements Aubrey has made in founding and building Chesapeake into the extraordinary enterprise it is today.
Over the past 24 years, Aubrey has created one of the most valuable companies in the energy industry. Under his strong leadership, Chesapeake has built an unmatched portfolio of natural gas and oil assets in creating one of the world's leading energy companies. Aubrey has been a pioneer in the development of unconventional resources, and he has also been a leader in the effort to make the United States energy independent. Aubrey has done all of this with the support and expertise of the world-class senior management team he recruited to Chesapeake and the dedication of our employees.
For the transition, Aubrey remains our CEO. During this interim period, he will work closely with Steve Dixon, Chief Operating Officer, and Nick Dell'Osso, Chief Financial Officer, to transition certain day-to-day management responsibilities and assure that the company maintains the highest degree of operational excellence and strategic execution of our business plan. The Board of Directors and the senior management team are counting on your continued dedication and focus as we execute our strategy of developing our world-class assets and maintain our performance as a low-cost producer of oil and gas while further strengthening the balance sheet.
I would also like to address certain likely points of concern among you. First, the company is not for sale. Second, the board has confirmed the current drilling and completion budget of six billion dollars and is eager to see the exciting recent results of the company's core of the core development strategy continue. Lastly, the board and management believe strongly in the culture of excellence at Chesapeake and are committed to seeing this culture thrive in the future. The Board has no intention of eliminating childcare, shutting down the Fitness Center, or selling the Company cafeterias. I'm sure that other false rumors will appear, so when they surface, ask Steve or Nick if they are true. Our truly top notch 12,000 employees remain the company's best asset, and we will continue to retain and attract the best talent in the industry.
We are at an important transition point for our company, but it is also a point of great opportunity. Thank you for all you do to make Chesapeake a great company.