Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler Discusses Challenges the Company Faces

From World Oil:
LAGCOE’s keynote speaker on Tuesday, Oct. 27 was Doug Lawler, CEO of Chesapeake Energy, who spoke of returning home to Lafayette, where he got his start in the oil and gas industry at Kerr-McGee, prior to its acquisition by Anadarko. 
“I feel like I’m coming home,” explained Lawler. “This was the foundational place for my career and family. The nine years I spent here was one of the best periods of my life.” 
It was a painful time as well due to the passing of his first wife due to cancer. The Lawler Foundation he started to help mothers stricken with cancer continues its work in Lafayette. 
Speaking of the current economic conditions, Lawler said, “We’ve enjoyed some of the best boom times for the industry, but now we’re back, where we have to have to depend on having good people, good technology and innovative ways to get things done, because of the rude awakening of the external pricing factors that we cannot control. It is a worthy challenge for all of us.” 
At Chesapeake, Lawler took over from Aubrey McClendon, under whose leadership, the company enjoyed spectacular growth. “We were under significant financial duress due to the financial instruments used for an earlier strategy of growth. Seeking top-quartile performance, we switched to a strategy of value through financial discipline, improving capital efficiency, cost structure improvements, and preserving our cash-flow generation capability.” As a result, Chesapeake now has $1.5 billion in cash, giving the company the flexibility to survive under difficult conditions and plan for future growth.
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