Continental names former Chesapeake boss Lawler as operating chief

(Reuters) – Continental Resources Inc on Tuesday named Doug Lawler, the former top boss of Chesapeake Energy Corp, as its chief operating officer and executive vice president from next month.

Lawler was Chesapeake’s CEO for eight years before he was unexpectedly fired in April last year, months after the company’s emergence from bankruptcy.

He had been widely credited with whittling away Chesapeake’s $13 billion debt load with a conservative approach to spending and had shepherded the company through bankruptcy.

Lawler would succeed Jack Stark, who plans to retire from Continental by late spring.

“Lawler’s addition as new COO should be viewed well by investors. He has extensive industry experience and is well known to investors,” Scott Hanold, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in a note.

The 30-year veteran of the oil and gas industry joins Continental at a time when the company is trying to ramp up output following the purchase of Pioneer Natural Resource’s Permian Basin assets last year. (

Continental’s shares were 1.4% higher at $53.01.

(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)