Chesapeake Energy names Robert Lawler CEOMay 20, 2013
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A. Lee Graham
Robert Douglas Lawler has been named CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp., bringing the Oklahoma-based oil and natural gas producer 25 years of experience in the upstream exploration and production industry. His appointment is effective June 17, 2013.
Lawler, 46, senior vice president of international and deepwater operations at Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp., succeeds Aubrey K. McClendon, who retired from Chesapeake on April 1, 2013 but agreed to continue serving as CEO until a successor was appointed.
The appointment follows a company audit committee finding no “intentional misconduct” on behalf of McClendon. The February news came as Chesapeake received results of a review of financing arrangements between McClendon and third parties identified as having a financial relationship with the company.
“Doug is a talented and proven executive with the ideal skill set to lead Chesapeake forward and capitalize fully on our world-class assets,” said Archie W. Dunham, chairman of the board, commenting in a news release.
“Throughout his 25 years in the upstream E&P (exploration and production) industry, Doug has earned a reputation as a highly engaged and knowledgeable leader who delivers superior operational performance and capital efficiency. The board is confident that Doug’s deep technical upstream and engineering expertise as well as his strategic and financial skills will serve Chesapeake well. We look forward to working with him to create value for Chesapeake shareholders,” Dunham said.
Lawler served several senior leadership roles at Anadarko, the nation’s second-largest independent upstream company and with a $45 billion market capitalization. With Lawler assuming the CEO position at Chesapeake, its Office of the Chairman will be discontinued, with Dunham, Steven C. Dixon and Domenic J. Dell’Osso Jr. continuing to serve their roles as non-executive board chairman, executive vice president of operations and geosciences and COO, and executive vice president and CFO, respectively.
“We thank Steve and Nick for the key roles they played in this transition and for their exemplary service as members of the Office of the Chairman during our CEO search,” Dunham said.
“The company did not miss a beat during this interim period, and their effective collaboration reflects their strong leadership skills and teamwork ethic,” Dunham said.
During Lawler’s 25 years at Anadarko and Kerr-McGee, he served several engineering and leadership positions within a diverse geographic portfolio including U.S. Onshore, deepwater Gulf of Mexico and international assets. He was most recently senior vice president, International and Deepwater Operations, and a member of Anadarko’s executive committee.
In that capacity, he oversaw new and existing developments, including Anadarko’s multi-train liquid natural gas project in Mozambique. Lawler previously served as Anadarko’s vice president, Operations for the Southern and Appalachia Region, where he directed the development of four major shale plays: Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Haynesville and Permian Bone Spring-Avalon.
Prior to that, Lawler held other positions within Anadarko’s operations, business planning and analysis departments.
Lawler is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the World Affairs Council and The Houston Museum of Natural Science. He holds a bachelor of science degree in petroleum engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from Rice University. He and his family are relocating to Oklahoma City.
Chesapeake Energy Corp., whose interests include the Barnett Shale in North Texas, develops unconventional natural gas and oil fields nationwide. More information is available at www.chk.com.