Photo: The Lost Ogle
Aubrey McClendon.What else can we say at this point that this picture hasn’t already said? The guy’s had to operate in 24-hour crisis mode for nearly four months, yet appears to have barely broken a sweat, having made time to attend Oklahoma City Thunder playoff games and securing billion-dollar financing from Goldman Sachs.
But briefly, just in case you haven’t been paying attention, the Chesapeake Energy CEO has since March been the subject of an avalanche of reports alleging, among other things:
- He’d failed to fully disclose his financial interests in company-owned wells to shareholders or landowners, leaving them both exposed to potential losses
- He reportedly ran a $200 million hedge fund while conducting day-to-day Chesapeake operations
- Chesapeake employees spent 15,000 hours on McClendon’s personal projects in 2010
Forbes’ Chris Helman has been writing about Chesapeake for a good while, and this weekend pronounced his final verdict on McClendon’s travails: He is the quintessential baby boomer, and that’s why he should stay on as CEO.
“…contrast [the aforementioned problems] with what this megalomaniacal micromanaging risktaker has built. A giant company with unparalleled assets that undergird the shale gas miracle that came out of nowhere to provide the U.S. with 100 years or more of clean-burning natural gas. McClendon has led the charge of this supply revolution. No one has grabbed more land or drilled more wells. No one has paid more money to poor farmers in the middle of nowhere who 10 years ago would have ever dreamed there was oil and gas under their fields.
“McClendon is not just the quintessential wildcatter of his generation, he’s the quintessential baby boomer — always wanting more, more, more and willing to borrow, borrow, borrow to get it.”
Helman is convinced that with the new independent board coming in, McClendon’s worst tendencies can be reined in.
“Give McClendon the opportunity to redeem himself. He loves the company like his own child. He knows the assets, he knows the people, he knows the systems. Let him sort out the problems and deleverage the company. Give him until next year’s annual meeting. If he drags his feet, boot him.”
See More: The Fabulous Life Of Aubrey McClendon