Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) today announced the appointment of five new independent directors to its reconstituted nine-member Board of Directors.
Archie W. Dunham, former Chairman of ConocoPhillips and former Chief Executive Officer of Conoco, has been appointed by the Board as Chesapeake’s new independent Non-Executive Chairman. Mr. Dunham has had no previous relationship with Chesapeake. Aubrey K. McClendon has relinquished the position of Chairman but remains a Director and will continue to serve as Chesapeake’s Chief Executive Officer and as President.
Chesapeake’s Board also appointed four other new independent directors: three proposed by Southeastern Asset Management (SAM), its largest shareholder with a 13.9% ownership stake, and one proposed by Carl C. Icahn, its second largest shareholder with a 7.6% stake. The new directors proposed by SAM are Bob G. Alexander, R. Brad Martin and Frederic M. Poses. The new director proposed by Mr. Icahn is Vincent J. Intrieri.
These five new directors replace Richard K. Davidson, Kathleen M. Eisbrenner, Frank Keating and Don Nickles who have resigned and Charles T. Maxwell who retired at the annual meeting on June 8, 2012. Following the annual meeting, Mr. Davidson and V. Burns Hargis submitted their resignations when they did not receive support of a majority of the shares voted. The Board accepted Mr. Davidson’s resignation, but given Mr. Hargis’ current role as Chairman of the Audit Committee, and reflecting input from SAM and Mr. Icahn, the Board has declined to accept his resignation, at this time, to permit completion of the previously announced review of the financing arrangements between Mr. McClendon (and the entities through which he participates in the Founder Well Participation Program) and any third party that has had or may have a relationship with the company in any capacity. Mr. Hargis will continue to lead the review, but is not expected to remain Chairman of the Audit Committee. Upon completion of the review, the Board will revisit his resignation.