An Ogle Mole recently sent me this picture of Aubrey McClendon enjoying last Friday’s Cotton Bowl from a comfy suite inside Cowboys Stadium. It’s kind of depressing.
Yeah, I wonder why he’s sitting all by himself in the corner? Maybe it’s because all of his friends have heard the rumors that Chesapeake Energy is about to layoff 10% of its Oklahoma City staff, or perhaps his friends and family don’t want to be seen next to the 2nd-worst CEO in America.
2. Aubrey McClendon, CEO, Chesapeake Energy (resigned as chairman, still CEO)
“Aubrey McClendon is a classic entrepreneur who breaks all the rules,” says Finkelstein.
While he was a visionary in his line of work, he also pushed the envelope when it came to mixing business finances with personal finances. For example, McClendon used the corporate jet for his personal use and he cut a corporate sponsorship deal with a sports team he privately owned.
According to Finkelstein, McClendon’s inappropriate behavior includes:
Documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show that several major Wall Street banks lent McClendon money and then received lucrative work as public-offering underwriters or financial advisers to Chesapeake.
Personally borrowed $500 million from EIG Global Energy Partners, which had also been a large financer for Chesapeake. In securing personal loans from his company’s business associate, McClendon exposed himself to a potential conflict of interest, as it’s reasonable to expect him to feel pressure to serve EIG’s interests in future corporate transactions, potentially at the expense of the best interests of shareholders.
Reuters exposed a $200 million hedge fund trading oil and gas McClendon ran at the same time he was CEO of Chesapeake — an obvious conflict of interest.
“Nothing is illegal, everything is disclosed (as far as we know) but it sure doesn’t look good,” says Finkelstein.
On a positive note, 2013 will probably be a much better year for McClendon. Or at least let’s hope so.
As I mentioned above, I’ve heard several rumors that Chesapeake is about to layoff up to 10% of its Oklahoma City workforce. Now, I have no clue if those rumors are true or not, but when you consider the company recently enacted an early retirement program, some sort of layoff wouldn’t be surprising.
I guess we should hope that Aubrey rekindles some of his old magic and is able to turn Chesapeake around in 2013. I doubt he will be able to, but it would be nice. Just like you, I have friends who work for the natural gas giant and don’t want them to lose their jobs. If he can’t do that, at least he should try to get his niece to pose in Playboy. That would be nice, too.
Thanks! Your message has been sent!