The Journal said Lawler sent an email to employees thanking the four for their service and assuring employees the company's restructuring "will position Chesapeake to be more competitive and focused."
Two days later, pink slips hit the company's community outreach division.
Pittsburgh-based Gas Business Briefing, an online industry news hub, reported about 28 community outreach employees in the Appalachian Basin, which includes West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, were told their services were no longer needed Aug. 14.
Gas Business Briefing said the total number of employees laid off nationwide was undetermined but noted, "The cleansing of nonessential personnel at Chesapeake Energy is picking up steam."
The Wall Street Journal summarized the company's recent problems, stating that under McClendon's leadership, Chesapeake habitually spent more cash than it brought in from its operations.
"The company's aggressive acquisitions and drilling made it the country's second-largest producer of natural gas after Exxon Mobil Corp.," the Journal reported.
"But a glut of gas sent prices tumbling to the lowest levels in a decade last year, eroding Chesapeake's revenues and prompting it to sell assets in 2012 to raise more than $11 billion to pay for its operations."
Lawler said in his recent conference call that the company was undergoing a comprehensive review to streamline its operations and identify non-core and poor performing assets that it can sell off.
He said that review and efforts to cut costs could continue into 2014.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.