CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CEO 'THROWN' OUT - McClendon Called State "Judicial Hellhole"


Chesapeake Energy's chief executive Aubrey McClendon is being replaced, leaving behind a shrunken, cash-starved version of what was once the eminent natural gas producer in the world's biggest market.

McClendon's agreement to resign effective April 1 culminated a shareholder revolt by Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management's O. Mason Hawkins that earlier had cost the CEO the chairmanship he'd held for more than two decades.

McClendon also relinquished his annual bonus and saw executive perks curtailed amid federal investigations of a portfolio of personal loans that topped $840 million.

The CEO could best be remembered by West Virginians for his open anger toward thew state following losing a class-action lawsuit in Roane County, royalty owners saying the company was charging operating costs against their royalty payments.

Then McClendon pulled a Chesapeake project to build a national headquarters in Charleston, calling the state "a judicial hellhole."

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Chesapeake lost as much as 43 percent of its market value in 2012 as scrutiny of McClendon's financial transactions destroyed investor confidence.

An internal board investigation of McClendon's use of his personal stakes in thousands of company-owned wells to secure personal loans so far has found nothing improper.