Williams appoints new chairman, CEO to stay; stock reopens lower

Lost job fired
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Williams Companies appointed a new board chairman and pledged support for its current CEO on Friday amid a big shakeup to its leadership.

Kathleen Cooper, a director with the company, has been named the new chairman of the board of directors. The CEO, Alan Armstrong, will remain in his role.

The firm also said six directors, including former Chairman Frank MacInnis resigned and Keith Meister, the CEO of Corvex — one of Williams' largest shareholders — had resigned.

Williams shares closed down nearly 5 percent.

The resignations, which chop the company's 13-member board, came a day after Energy Transfer Equity walked away from its deal to buy Williams after months of lawsuits and heated arguments between the rival pipeline companies.

Williams' shares have shed 20 percent this year.

WMB in 2016Source: FactSet

—CNBC's David Faber and Reuters contributed to this report.