Chesapeake does some ‘splainin…

May 1, 2009

Ever since, Cheseapeake Energy (CHK) filed its preliminary proxy last week, there’s been lots of stories — here’s one from Business Week — noting just how well paid Chairman and CEO Aubrey K. McClendon is. Those stories are likely to continue since earlier today, the Associated Press came out with its list of the highest paid CEOs. And McClendon is at the top of the list at $112.5 million.

So perhaps it’s not all that surprising that in the definitive proxy it filed yesterday, Chesapeake spent some time explaining its approach to compensation. Here’s a snip of some of the new material in yesterday’s filing:

The Compensation Committee also considered the fact that the incentive award was conditioned on a contractual commitment by Mr. McClendon to remain in his position as CEO for an additional five years, and his agreement to establish a cap on his cash salary and bonus compensation for the same five-year period. The Compensation Committee believes that Mr. McClendon’s commitment to remain in his leadership role was particularly beneficial to the Company in view of prevailing market conditions, the value of innovative transactions such as those described above in a challenging operating environment and the other entrepreneurial opportunities that currently exist in the industry.

There’s more justification throughout the filing. But let’s be honest: doesn’t this sound like Ricky telling Lucy that she’s got some ‘splainin to do?

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