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Aubrey McClendon

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Aubrey McClendon was born in 1959 in Oklahoma, and his home state has since been an important part of his entrepreneurial life. Graduating from Heritage Hall Upper School in the 70’s, McClendon went on to study at Duke University. Leaving Duke University, Aubrey went on to work as an accountant. Following this, he worked as a landman at Jaytex Oil and Gas. Aubrey left his work as a landman behind to pursue his own career in the oil and natural gas industry. Early ideas were being born by 1983, when McClendon paired with Tom L. Ward, brainstorming ideas to break into oil and natural gas. From these ideas came the Chesapeake Energy Corporation. Chesapeake Energy Corporation was co-founded by 1989, and began drilling in Oklahoma. McClendon and Ward set their energy company apart from the rest by using unconventional methods like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The firm went public in 1993, rising to large success with a 274% increase in value by 1997. Flashforward to 2008 and McClendon was one of the United State’s top-paid CEO’s for his work at Chesapeake Energy Corporation—making over $112 million.

Aubrey experienced a period of obstacles in 2008. Fighting back, he sold 94% of his stake in Chesapeake Energy Corporation. His sale paid off in 2009, when McClendon was offered a retention contract by Chesapeake—with a $75 million bonus. Chesapeake and McClendon again reached an impasse in 2012 when questions of the companies’ ethics were raised. It was reported and confirmed in 2013 that no improper conduct had been found, and the company continued to grow successfully. In addition to his work with Chesapeake, McClendon most recently founded Amercian Energy Partners in 2015. AELP is an oil and gas company operating out of Oklahoma City.

Aubrey currently lives in Oklahoma City, where he also hold stake in several restaurants. He also is part of the Professional Basketball Club. He regularly contributes to the Boys and Girls Club of OKC and Oklahoma City Public Schools. Aubrey is married with three grown children.

Companies and Investments

Chesapeake Energy (Founder), Amercian Energy Partners (Founder)

Lessons Learned

It is important to have a healthy balance of thick skin and constructive consideration. When faced with flack, comments, or opinions from journalists, media, business partners, and others you must keep a thick skin. Do not allow someone else to tear you down, but it is also important to listen to what is being said. Take close consideration of yourself and your business, and consider whether or not the criticism holds water. It may be difficult to hear something critical, but constructive criticism can also be a starting point for necessary change.

Inspiring Quotes

Aubrey McClendon's Quotes

It is a sad day to see Chesapeake stoop so low as to sue its cofounder for having information that was earned, paid for and provided through my contracts with Chesapeake.

Aubrey McClendon

American business would be run better today if there was more alignment between CEOs interest and the company.

Aubrey McClendon

Natural gas is a feedstock in basically every industrial process.

Aubrey McClendon

This country has an incredible advantage headed its way as Asian labor costs rise, as the cost to transport goods from Asia to the U.S. rises, as oil prices rise, as American labor costs have stagnated or gone down in the last 10 years. We have a really wonderful opportunity to kick off an industrial renaissance in the U.S.

Aubrey McClendon

I think most people act in their self-interest.

Aubrey McClendon

I probably am not as strident as I used to be because I dont have to be.

Aubrey McClendon

I get mad at the New York-based environmentalists because if you were truly environmentalists you wouldnt have a storm surge system and a sanitary system hooked together here that requires you to close your beaches 10 times a year.

Aubrey McClendon

I do think a key to success in any walk of life is having a short memory and a thick skin – I know it has served me well over the years.

Aubrey McClendon

Influential Books


John Raymond