Oklahoma City, OK – Walking into the 4,000 person auditorium on Chesapeake’s campus, roughly 50 people were on hand to watch former CEO Robert “Doug” Lawler give his farewell speech. “What a goddamn joke. These kids don’t know what it takes to run an oil company,” Lawler complained. “I used to run Anadarko for poop’s sake. What kind of country do we live in now? I guess I’ll take my exit package and move back to Houston.” With that outburst, Lawler slid his hands into his pockets and unceremoniously sulked off the stage.
The source of his anger: according to recent SEC filings, Gilbert Elementary School Investment Club recently launched an activist campaign against Chesapeake Energy by acquiring 15% of the outstanding stock. Third grade teacher Mrs. Jenkins, the advisor of the club, made a statement through the club’s attorney that “We had a bake sale and it was a huge success. Our students had never heard of â€˜stocks’ before, so we showed them how only a few dozen cupcakes and clever thinking can help you take over an energy company in 2020 and make it better.”
Jerome Williamson, president of the club and straight-A fourth grade student weighed in: “Doug Lauer (sic) is a mean guy. He fired my best friend’s dad and they moved away. We worked extra hard and sold a whole hundred dollars worth of cupcakes to buy stocks and my mom told me I should serve on the board.” Jerome, along with four friends, replaced Mr. Lawler’s previous board members in a hostile takeover.
“We fired that nasty Doug guy and sold a bunch of stuff,” Jerome explained. “He was really mad at us but he has a lot of money and a big house and he will be fine.” Chesapeake’s new CEO, 11 year old Kaily Richards, stated “I don’t know what a drilling rig is so we figured we didn’t need them. We also decided we don’t need leases because we already had a bunch of those. So we stopped doing that too.”
“I really like cupcakes,” Jerome said. “Cupcakes saved Chesapeake. So we decided to put a cupcake shop on campus.” Utilizing Chesapeake’s newfound cash flow, the student board set up a free cupcake facility in place of the workout center and tripled the company’s Christmas light display budget. “Fixing Chesapeake wasn’t super hard,” Kaily said in between bites of cupcake. “I still go to school every day from 8 to 3. Then I come here for an hour or so before soccer practice.”
Once the students’ changes were made, the company started generating significant free cash flow from operations. The student board was quickly able to buy Chesapeake’s debt at roughly 2% of face value. In only six months, the stock price tripled and the company appears to be on solid footing going forward. Kaily described their corporate strategy simply: “Like, if you don’t spend money on stuff that doesn’t make money, things turn out ok. And stuff.”
Doug Lawler had no comment at the time of writing.
Source of featured image: Dominion Sugar