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Power shift at Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake pushes average age of board higher

It is still unclear how the new Chesapeake Energy Corp. board will affect the Oklahoma City-based company's future.
by Jay F. Marks and Adam Wilmoth Modified: June 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm •  Published: June 21, 2012

CEO Aubrey McClendon has said Chesapeake intends to focus on harvesting its rich asset base, but analysts have estimated the company needs to raise up to $22 billion to cover its spending plans through next year.

What happens next likely will be up to McClendon's new boss.

Dunham has experience running energy companies and selling them.

“Dunham is a well-known name in the industry with a great reputation,” Gheit said.

“He has seen low commodity prices. He's a veteran. He's run a company for many years. He's also not bashful. He can sell companies. He's done it before.”

As chairman and CEO of Ponca City-based Conoco Inc., Dunham orchestrated the company's merger with Phillips Petroleum Corp.

Gheit agreed that the new directors are not likely to serve on Chesapeake's board long-term, but he said it is still too soon to tell exactly what that means for the company.

“These are all guys who have established careers. They are not coming here for any new glory or a second career,” he said. “They are basically going to be looked at to restore investor confidence and raise shareholder value.”

Standard & Poor's analyst Scott Sprinzen also is not unsure what changes the board has planned.

“Time will tell,” he said.

by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
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by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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