OIL AND GAS: Chesapeake under fire from shareholders over CEO pay (Tuesday, April 28, 2009)
Chesapeake Energy Corp. shareholders are blasting the company and its directors for paying CEO Aubrey McClendon $112 million last year even as the company’s stock price plummeted.
Aubrey’s compensation package was one of the largest for any corporate executive last year and included a one-time $75 million bonus on top of a $975,000 base salary and $32.7 million in stock, according to the company’s proxy statement.
The documents also disclose several transactions between Chesapeake and McClendon or companies in which he has an interest, including a $12.1 million deal to buy his collection of maps and artwork.
“I have never seen a more shameful document than the Chesapeake proxy statement,” investor Jeffrey Bronchick said in a letter to Chesapeake’s board. “If I could reduce it to one page, I would frame and hang it on my office wall as a near perfect illustration of the complete collapse of appropriate corporate governance.”
McClendon and Chesapeake declined to comment, and directors did not return calls seeking comment. McClendon’s new five-year contract and other bonus were a reward for negotiating a series of multibillion-dollar asset sales and to keep him from pursing “other entrepreneurial opportunities,” the company said in the proxy and other filings (Ben Casselman, Wall Street Journal [subscription required], April 28). — TL
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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