Chesapeake, Murphy name new leaders;

The broad energy sector lost ground on Thursday, including a drop of nearly 6%

Chesapeake Energy named a new chairman and four board members while Murphy Oil unexpectedly switched chief executive officers. Meanwhile, energy stocks fell back on Thursday, Steve Geisi said, reporting for MarketWatch.

“At midday, Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -2.60% lost 2.2% and Chevron Corp. CVX -2.29% declined 1.5%. The two oil majors are components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -1.26%, which fell 113 points.

“Putting additional pressure on energy stocks, crude oil futures fell 2.3% to trade below $80 a barrel for the first time in eight months.

“Chesapeake Energy Corp. CHK -3.26% dipped 2.9% after the company named Archie Dunham, 73, as its new independent, non-executive chairman. Dunham replaces Aubrey McClendon, the company’s co-founder, who has become mired in controversy. McClendon remains chief executive.

“Dunham formerly served as chairman of ConocoPhillips COP -2.51%  and as chief executive officer of Conoco. The board also appointed four new directors, including three proposed by Southeastern Asset Management, its largest shareholder, and one by Carl Icahn, the company’s second-largest shareholder.

“The board’s audit committee is continuing its investigation into private loans made to McClendon using his stakes in company-owned wells as collateral.”


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