June 12, 2012 / 7:52 PM / 5 years ago

Chesapeake board nears decision on chairman: director

Chesapeake Energy Corporation's 50 acre campus is seen in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on April 17, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Sisney

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy Corp’s (CHK.N) board of directors is close to a decision on who the U.S. oil and gas company’s new independent chairman will be, a board member said on Tuesday.

“We’re getting close, I hope,” Don Nickles, a member of Chesapeake’s board and former U.S. Senator from Oklahoma told reporters after a hearing in Washington. “We were trying to get it done before our annual meeting. We didn’t quite get it done, but we were close.”

Chesapeake held its annual meeting on Friday. At the meeting, shareholders rejected the re-election of board members Burns Hargis and Richard Davidson, who have since tendered their resignations.

The board has been under fire from the company’s investors over its lax oversight of co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon.

In April, Reuters reported that McClendon had arranged for more than $1 billion in loans, using his interest in company wells as collateral. McClendon’s lender, EIG Global Energy Partners, is also a big source of financing for the company.

On May 1, the board said McClendon would be replaced as chairman by an independent, non-executive chairman who has few ties to the company.

Nickles declined to answer other questions about Chesapeake. In recent weeks, the directors have referred all requests for comment to a Chesapeake spokesman.

Chesapeake has said it will announce its new chairman on or before June 22.

Reporting By Roberta Rampton; writing by Anna Driver in Houston; editing by Andre Grenon

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