Four top Chesapeake Energy Corp. executives are leaving the company as part of an ongoing reorganization effort, CEO Doug Lawler said Monday.
Steve Dixon, chief operating officer and executive vice president of operations and geosciences; Jeff Fisher, executive vice president of production; Steve Miller, senior vice president of drilling and Martha Burger, senior vice president of human and corporate resources “are leaving the company to pursue other opportunities,” Lawler wrote in an email to company employees Monday afternoon.
The four are considered terminated without cause, effective immediately.
“This is a business decision resulting from Chesapeake's continuing transformation to where we want to be as a top performing company,” Lawler told The Oklahoman on Monday. “We have been looking very hard at the executive level and know we need to make changes that are business driven to streamline the company.”
Lawler praised the outgoing executives for their service.
“In the short time I've been here, I've been very impressed with their leadership skills,” said Lawler, who joined the company in June. “Not only are they leaders at Chesapeake, but they are leaders in the state and the community. I appreciate their contributions to the company.
“Chesapeake had an outstanding quarter, and we continue to show good production growth. These individuals all played a significant part in that. When you look at the history of the company, those four individuals have played a key role.”
The changes are part of an ongoing effort to reduce expenses and improve performance, Lawler said.
“This is a change for us that is tough. It's not easy,” Lawler said. “But as we look forward, I'm absolutely laser focused on how we can improve our operating and competitive performances.”
Dixon and Fisher are named executive officers included in the company's regulatory filings. Termination without cause would provide Dixon with compensation estimated at nearly $12 million, while Fisher's compensation package is estimated at more than $5.6 million, according to Chesapeake's most recent filing.