The Norman Transcript

State/Region

December 30, 2013

Merger, layoffs mark the year

OKLAHOMA CITY — One of Oklahoma’s largest energy companies had a turbulent year with the layoff of hundreds of employees and the forced resignation of its founder.

Chesapeake Energy announced in October that it was laying off 800 workers across the company, including 640 at its Oklahoma City headquarters. The company said that it still employed 3,500 people at its corporate headquarters and 6,000 across Oklahoma. In January, the company announced that founder Aubrey McClendon would resign on April 1 over what Chesapeake officials called “philosophical differences.”

McClendon had founded the company in 1989, and he was stripped of his position as chairman of the company’s board in May 2012.

Following the announcement McClendon would be leaving, several other top-level executives announced they, too, were leaving the company.

In a letter to employees announcing the layoffs, CEO Doug Lawler said the corporate restructuring process has made Chesapeake “poised to grow for decades to come.”

“By scaling E&P support services, reducing management layers and aligning resources with a sharpened focus on accountability and efficiency, we have created a business built to deliver a sustainable and profitable future,” Lawler said.

In Tulsa, local and state leaders were praising the merger of two airlines, which they said would add job security to thousands of workers.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said the merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways was great news for the 6,000 American Airlines employees who work at a maintenance plant in Tulsa.

“We know that the state of Oklahoma will continue to be a great place for these employees to call home, and an ever-growing hub for the aerospace and aviation industries,” she said in a statement.

The deal went through and the two became known as American Airlines Group, Inc., after federal regulators settled a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department seeking to block the deal because of fears that it would hurt competition and lead to higher prices. But the two airlines promised to give up some sought-after spots at airports in New York and Washington and other areas.

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