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Chesapeake CEO to step down in April

"Philosophical differences".

Chesapeake Energy has said that its chief executive Aubrey McClendon will step down on 1 April 2013. McClendon served the company for 24 years.

McClendon, also a co-founder of the company, stepped down as chairman in 2012 amid concerns related to undisclosed borrowings. At the same time, Chesapeake appointed Archie Dunham as its new chairman along with four new independent board directors.

The company, however, said an “extensive board review" of McClendon’s dealings to date has not revealed improper conduct and added that his decision to retire was “not related to the board’s pending review of his financing arrangements and other matters”.

Chesapeake’s activist investor, Carl Icahn, in a statement, said: “While it is known that some of these assets will be sold by the company in due course, I do not believe that this will in any way affect the ultimate realisation of Chesapeake’s potential. I am confident that history will prove that Aubrey has been correct about the value of natural gas in general and the value of Chesapeake in particular.”

The company hired Heidrick & Struggles to find a new CEO.

McClendon said: “While I have certain philosophical differences with the new board, I look forward to working collaboratively with the company and the board to provide a smooth transition to new leadership.”

“In many respects, our accomplishments are unique and I will always remain immensely grateful for the time I have spent with you building CHK [Chesapeake] into the industry leader that it is today,” McClendon added.

Chesapeake’s shares grew by 10 per cent to $20.87 in after-hours’ trading.