Thread regarding Chesapeake Energy Corp. layoffs

It just keeps getting worse...

I debated posting something yesterday but I was so angry and disappointed I didn’t know where to start. I’ve had 20plus years in oil and gas accounting. It’s incredibly specialized and not just anyone in accounting can do it. It doesn’t matter if you’ve audited it for twice that long- It doesn’t translate. That’s like saying, “I’ve reffed football, I’m totally qualified to coach in the NFL”. So what does this leadership do? They push out decades of industry and institutional knowledge for some new guys who don’t know how it works. And worse they are under a CAO who doesn’t have the experience either. How did a “National Search” get us here- to a bunch of guys in over their heads hiring their buddies from public accounting days. And those guys don’t come cheap- so it’s not a cost saving measure. Just more money for less knowledge. Why are we getting rid of people who know how to do the work for people who don’t? Is it ego? Is it incompetence? As a shareholder, it’s infuriating and further proof upper management is clueless.

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I don’t think anyone is arguing about the number of available accounting jobs out there. The people they let go had nothing to do with the sec investigation or the material weakness and implying that one has anything to do with the other is ridiculous. What people are upset about is that the new hires don’t have the experience they need for joint venture and revenue accounting. A slip up in revenue accounting means lawsuits from royalty owners (we’ve obviously had those but they arose from following former legal guidance and not because of accounting errors) and fines and penalties from regulatory agencies. You can’t have your top three people learning this as they go. As the OP said, auditing an oil and gas company’s books is nothing like doing the work day in/day out. I realize that layoffs hit other groups in 2013. I guess we were all hopeful that they at least filled those positions with people who knew what they were doing. I guess we know the answer to that now.

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Did we all forget the SECs investigations into chk accounting practices and the indicated corrupt practices from the prior regime?? And then a material weakness had to be filed just this year?? And now we are all surprised that they are cleaning house now that the one at the top moved on to sandridge? Come on....get real. Like it or not This happened with the rest of the departments at chk in 2013. Now it’s accountings turn. Good people will go but this is what happens when one cao goes and a new one comes in. Like it. Or leave. Tons of accounting jobs out there.

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This isn't complicated. Chesapeake won't last forever and everyone knows it. A handful of alarmingly deceitful and unethical folks at the top will continue funneling money into their own pockets. The changes are not about old Chesapeake vs new Chesapeake. They're not about streamlining processes and creating a lean org chart. They're not even about people who didn't "buy in" to the culture (hint: they did). It's all about fleecing the shareholders, draining the coffers, and enriching a few lives as everyone else clings to the $20/share pipe dream. A short five minute conversation with the vast majority of upper management will tell you everything you need to know; they're sociopaths.

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But I can still put in that new pool and buy my lake house right?

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Anyone that believes CHK will still be around in its present form in 2-3 years has taken up permanent residence on planet delusional.

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Yes obi-wan, the ball of crystal becomes cloudy

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Longevity in O&G accounting at a "peer" company consisted of getting into the organization, becoming besties with someone influential, then riding the wave for a lucrative and long career without having to know what you were doing. After 20 years at that peer, the ones who kept their opinions to themselves, made friends with management, and cried when things didn't go their way were allowed to stay. Competent leaders with ethical and moral standards and who worked diligently to understand oil and gas accounting and obtain a CPA were shown the door so that the easy way could be navigated. A common affliction taking hold in the back offices for a lot of companies. Don't keep the best, keep those who will quietly drone away at the daily task of putting a number in a box. Best of luck

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Amen. I wonder if this new regime realizes they've started things off with a HUGE trust deficit. CAO admits he doesn't know much about the department yet, but apparently knows enough to CUT CUT CUT. The arrogance.

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I could tell you why it's happening but you would never believe me anyway, because this is much bigger than just the O+G industry.

Suffice to say they are not clueless, because this isn't about the company prospering, which you assume they want. No, they don't, and that's the biggest clue I will give you.

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Missed my last sentence... And as a former employee, I’m sad and disheartened for those still there having to deal with all this.

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