Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy this morning said it "has offered a voluntary separation program to certain Chesapeake employees as part of the company's ongoing efforts to improve efficiencies and reduce costs." Julie Wilson, Chesapeake's chief officer in the Barnett Shale, said the buyouts dod not affect the company's area operations, which employ about 500.
Chesapeake said eligibility of about 275 workers is based on "a combination of age and years of Chesapeake service." Terms apparently are pretty good: StateImpact Oklahoma, citing an email attributed to Chesapeake senior vice president of land Henry Hood, said the buyouts offers a year's pay, a year's health benefits payments and "various stock benefits." Those generous terms and the limited nature of the buyouts -- the company has more than 13,000 employees, including more than 4,000 at the Oklahoma City headquarters campus, StateImpact said -- the buyouts likely are aimed at higher-ranking executives.
The company's official announcement said eligible employees have 45 days to take the offer. Separations are effective in February, but the company said it could delay departures if needed for business needs. "This program is designed to give our longer-term employees the chance to benefit from their years of service to Chesapeake while furthering our efforts to maximize corporate performance and maintain our leadership role in this competitive and constantly evolving industry," Martha Burger, senor vice president of human and corporate resources, said in the release.
-- Jim Fuquay