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Chesapeake Energy Says Anadarko Executive Lawler to Be CEO

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK), the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, said former Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) executive Robert Douglas Lawler will become chief executive officer effective June 17.

Lawler, 46, will also join the board, the Oklahoma City-based company said in a statement today. Lawler was senior vice president of international and deep-water operations at Anadarko. Upon his arrival, the company will discontinue the office of the chairman, a three-man unit set up while Chesapeake searched for a new CEO.

Chesapeake co-founder Aubrey McClendon, 53, stepped down as CEO last month after a shareholder revolt by Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management Inc. A board inquiry into McClendon’s use of personal stakes in company-owned wells to obtain more than $800 million in private loans cleared him of any intentional wrongdoing.

“The board is confident that Doug’s deep technical upstream and engineering expertise as well as his strategic and financial skills will serve Chesapeake well,” Chairman Archie Dunham said in the statement.

Lawler’s appointment was announced before regular trading began in New York. Chesapeake rose 1.6 percent to $20.60 at 7:32 a.m.

The office of the chairman had consisted of Dunham, interim CEO Steven Dixon and Chief Financial Officer Domenic Dell’Osso. Dixon will resume his role as chief operating officer and the other two will return to their former positions, the company said.

Exxon Mobil Corp., based in Irving, Texas, is the largest U.S. producer of natural gas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Polson in New York at jpolson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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