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2 people found this helpful  

IT Department: Too Many Dim Bulbs

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Senior-Level IT Employee in Oklahoma City, OK
Current Employee - Senior-Level IT Employee in Oklahoma City, OK

I have been working at Chesapeake Energy

Pros

Chesapeake provides an excellent campus environment in Oklahoma City, complete with three restaurants and a first-rate fitness center. Most campus employees have individual offices (no cubes!), about half of those with closable doors. Benefits and compensation are competitive, considering the relatively poor IT job market in OKC. The C-level execs generally are charismatic and approachable, though there are exceptions. Chesapeake gives back heavily to the community and encourages its employees to do so as well.

Cons

Chesapeake continues to suffer the consequences of poorly-managed growth (1000% in just 6 years). In the IT department specifically, lax selection practices have produced a top-heavy organization saturated with marginal talent at all levels. Marginal coworkers mean more failed projects and dissatisfied customers. Marginal management leads to promotions based on politics and showmanship. The department has three titular levels for technical resources: associate, "regular" and senior. Beyond that, the only advancement is supervisory. Management has developed an aversion to large, challenging projects. Given those factors, career growth potential for senior technical resources is quite limited. Finally, the corporate culture tends to the conservative side, leading to some unfortunate aspects. Internet access is heavily filtered, blocking much business-related content. The company often encourages its employees to vote for certain candidates and to donate money to the Chesapeake FedPAC.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Institute better hiring practices to find better talent. Make employees at all levels financially accountable for success. Identify and lose the least-productive 25% of the company (seriously). Reduce the non-business-critical expenditures: lavish parties, landscaping, buying nearby businesses, questionable CEO bonuses.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

131 Other Employee Reviews for Chesapeake Energy (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Too big for its own good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Government Affairs Representative in Fort Worth, TX
    Current Employee - Government Affairs Representative in Fort Worth, TX

    I have been working at Chesapeake Energy

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, and work/life balance. Lots of autonomy and macromanagement depending on department.

    Cons

    certain departments such as government affairs are under paid and uner appreciated. Chesapeake grew too fast when gas prices were at their all time high last year. As a result, departments that were created are now under scrutiny to show value and releveance. The result? Layoffs brouht on by management hiring WAY too many people when the economy was good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take more appreciation for the little people, and don't create departments just becauseeceonomic times are good. Too much needless spending on image.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Chesapeake Energy Wins the Day

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Landman in Oklahoma City, OK
    Current Employee - Landman in Oklahoma City, OK

    I have been working at Chesapeake Energy

    Pros

    Compensation and benefits are very competitive. The fitness center is a big advantage along with the wellness program, complete with $1,000 in incentives for living a healthy lifestyle. The pace is fast and there are plenty of learning opportunities. The campus and facilities are first rate. The Blue Room theatre is an outstanding place to hold meetings, seminars, etc., and they have a weekend movie program. Vacation policies have become more competitive and worker-friendly in the last few years. The on-campus health facility is convenient and cheap, with a copay of only $5, even if the primary doctor is on a crusade against antibiotics and takes a tough-it-out policy on illnesses. Bi-annual salary and bonus reviews are an outstanding plus. It's the best job I've had and the best place I've worked, and I fell lucky to be here.

    Cons

    The oil and gas industry is cyclical by nature, so you have to be ready for the ups and downs. The ups are stressful because of the frantic pace and pressure, the downs are stressful because of macro-economic worries that the industry will crumble and you will be left jobless, although I don't feel like this will happen to me here. If anything, it's a bit disconcerting that we have done our jobs so well as a company that we've become an attractive buyout candidate, which would not be a good thing for the employees, most of whom would be undoubtedly let go. Like any major company, there is a lot of office politics with which to deal. Many times it matter who one knows or how one can manipulate who one knows. Promotions (concerning titles) have not been handed out very fairly, in my opinion. However, I believe compensation is more closely tied to performance, and salary and bonus reviews come around twice a year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more conservative. We went through a period where we said "the great land grab" was over and that we were going to drill our wells and build the bottom line on the stock. Then the stock started to take off, we made the great Haynesville discovery, and spending and optimism went through the roof. I believe we are paying some of the consequences of our shortsighted optimism now. Management has long been touted as some of the best and smartest in the business, and I believe this will ultimately be proven out. Hopefully we will learn from our missteps and avoid some of the same in the future. I hope our immense pride and sense of invincibility doesn't prove to be our downfall. We seem to have a good business plan and capable management to bear it out. I just would like to see us be a bit more conservative financially in the future, which I think we will be.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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