I’ve had the good fortune to know both men, who, by any measure, are two of the most visionary entrepreneurs responsible for much of Oklahoma City’s renaissance.
Chesapeake is America’s second-largest natural gas producer. Early on, McClendon and Ward realized the promise of unlocking huge deposits of natural gas by fracking.
In replacing McClendon, Chesapeake said it will look for a different kind of leader. It will have to because McClendon’s one-of-a-kind corporate and entrepreneurial genius can’t be duplicated.
As with many who enjoy great success, Aubrey came under fire for how he managed Chesapeake and his personal fortune. All too many were quick to criticize him and his company, forgetting how much both have done for OKC.
Now, as he leaves, he’s being praised for creating the best portfolio of energy assets and spearheading the effort to make America energy-independent.
McClendon is only 53. We can only hope his entrepreneurial drive and ambition will resurface.
Don’t be surprised if Aubrey has a great second act that results in another American energy industry success story.
—Vince Orza, Oklahoma City
Orza is president and CEO of KSBI Channel 52.