Oct. 09--Chesapeake Energy dropped 800 workers from its payroll Tuesday as new management continued to throttle down from an aggressive stance that threw the company into deep debt.
The Oklahoma City-based oil and gas producer's total job cut count this year is 1,200 employees, about 10 percent of its workforce.
The move comes months after the company's embattled co-founder and former CEO Aubrey McClendon departed amid federal scrutiny of perks he received and shareholder pressure over a sharp drop in cash flow and debt that peaked at $16 billion last year.
Doug Lawler, the company's CEO since June, said in a letter to employees Tuesday that the layoffs were part of a "sharpened focus on accountability and efficiency" that includes reducing management layers and support services.
The company has ended its organizational restructuring for now, he wrote.
Last month, Lawler told investors at a Barclays conference that Chesapeake would focus on balancing the company's expenditures with operational cash flow and allocate capital only to the most lucrative projects.
The company also slashed spending in half this year to $7.2 billion, a big change from a decade outspending the cash flow and building a reputation as one of the most aggressive land grabbers among U.S. producers.
Wall Street appears to like the shift in strategy. The company's stock price dipped 22 cents to $26.05 on Tuesday as the broader market slumped but has risen 34 percent over the past year.