Chesapeake CEO to Step Down; Shares Jump After-Hours

Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp.
F. Carter Smith | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Chesapeake Energy, battling a governance crisis and financial strain, said that Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon is leaving the company on April 1.

Chesapeake shares jumped 10 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement. (Click here for the latest quote.)

McClendon, 53, is under scrutiny from federal regulators and his board for blurring the line between his personal dealings and that of the company. Big shareholders took control of the board in June after he was stripped last year of his title as chairman of the company he co-founded in 1989.

The findings of the board's probe will be released next month, but so far nothing improper has been uncovered, Chesapeake said.

A Reuters investigation published in April found that McClendon had arranged to personally borrow more than $1 billion from EIG Global Energy Partners, a firm that also is a big investor in Chesapeake.

The loans, arranged through McClendon's personal shell companies, were secured by his interest in company wells. McClendon is allowed to take a 2.5 percent stake in every single well Chesapeake drills under a controversial program called the Founders Well Participation Program (FWPP).