|UPDATE - Chesapeake Energy's Chairman Aubrey McClendon is stepping down from the head job.|
Chesapeake has been a leader in the Marcellus Shale boom in the Mountain State.
McClendon, who once promised to build his company's eastern headquarters in Charleston and made disparaging remarks about the Mountain State when he didn't get his way, will remain as the company's chief executive officer.
The change comes after McClendon and the company's executive board agreed to terminate a deal that would have allowed McClendon to personally benefit from all the company's wells, owning 2.5%.
His contract will end 18 months early.
The news of his departure increased the company's shares on Wall Street.
The controversial inside deal was first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
See related stories:
CHESAPEAKE'S MCCLENDON GETS $75 MILLION BONUS - Reward Comes After Stock Hits Bottom
CHESAPEAKE CEO SAYS VERDICT COULD ENDANGER FUTURE GAS EXPLORATION
GAS CORPORATIONS CLAIM THEY'RE THE VICTIM - Want "Fairness" Following Jury Verdict, Legislature Could Change Law
ROANE ROYALTY VERDICT DESERVES RESPECT - "It's About Law, Contractual Obligations And Running Business Right"
CHESAPEAKE STILL LEASING AFTER VERDICT
THE SKY'S THE LIMIT - Chesapeake Energy CEO Raking In $24 Million
CHESAPEAKE SLASHING WV JOBS - McClendon Blaming Roane Verdict, Calling State "Judicial Hellhole"
ECONOMIC BLACKMAIL: WV UNDER SIEGE BY PRODUCERS - Royalty Owners Could Lose, Lose, Lose
CHESAPEAKE ENERGY BACKING OUT OF WV?
ORIGINAL STORY 'CHESEAPEAKES BOOM' 4/30/2012
COMMENT by Bob Weaver
Charleston politicos have been ecstatic over saving the State of West Virginia with the Marcellus Shale boom.
While it is a boost to local economies and the state's tax collection, few West Virginia workers have been employed by the drillers.
Most agree that natural gas is the wave of America's energy future.
With many unanswered questions regarding the environmental impact of the drilling, some states have issued a moratorium on operations, and there are legal issues over horizontal drilling.
Fascinatingly, the boom goes on during a glut of natural gas with storage fields full, and the lowest price for natural gas in over a decade.
While a few royalty holders have been made relatively wealthy and the motel and food businesses are thriving in the northern panhandle, miles of secondary roads have been destroyed by the equipment, with Chesapeake and other drillers saying they will spend millions of dollars bringing them back to standards.
Last week, Chesapeake appears to be ending a deal with their CEO Aubrey McClendon, where he used loans taken out by the company that allowed him to have a personal stake in Chesapeake's drilling profits.
A sharp drop in Chesapeake's company stock has brought a new round of criticism of Chesapeake's board allowing the cozy deal.
The deal allowed McClendon to personally have 2.5% interest in every well the company drilled.
The Pittsburgh-Post Gazette broke the story about the profitable arrangement.
Not unlike other "booms" that have come to West Virginia regarding its natural resources, how the citizens of the state benefit in the long run is dubious.
The recall of history is a trait rarely exercised.
Chesapeake's 25 Percent Decline Linked To CEO's Overspending
By Joe Carroll
Published April 23, 2012 - Chesapeake Energy Corp. Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon has been adding oil fields to his personal holdings faster than he can find cash to drill them. He's steering the company down the same road.
Chesapeake, producer of more U.S. natural gas than any company except Exxon Mobil Corp., outspent its cash flow in 19 of the past 21 years while amassing millions of acres of drilling leases from the Rocky Mountains to Appalachia. The company has been aggressive in looking to develop what is called the Utica shale in Ohio.
Read more Chesapeake's 25 Percent Decline Linked To CEO's Overspending