OKLAHOMA CITY, May 20 (UPI) -- Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, said it has hired a chief executive officer to replace its departing founder.
The company said on its website Robert Lawler will come on board as CEO on June 17.
Lawler is a petroleum engineer working as senior vice president of international and deep-water operations at Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
Chesapeake co-founder Aubrey McClendon was replaced by interim CEO Steve Dixon, who was previously chief operating officer. Dixon is filling in with help from Chief Financial Officer Nick Dell'Osso and independent Chairman Archie Dunham.
While McClendon reportedly was forced out as CEO by new members of the board, the company has not made it a clean break, The Wall Street Journal reported.
McClendon's separation agreement allows him to invest in Chesapeake's new wells through June 2014.
He is also allowed to buy property adjacent to Chesapeake's holdings, as long as he gives the company the option of meeting the same terms.
Board members have considered buying McClendon out of the picture but have decided against that for now, sources close to the company's board told the Journal.