The Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of Chesapeake Energy Corporation has decided to retire.

The company announced Tuesday that on April 1 Aubrey K. McClendon will retire from the company.

Company officials said both McClendon and the Board of Directors have agreed it is time for a new leader to be selected for the next phase of the company.

The 53 year old has served as Chesapeake’s Chief Executive Officer since the start of the company in 1989 and served as Chairman of the Board from its founding until 2012.

Company officials stated that McClendon has was key in making Chesapeake Energy one of the most valuable and innovative companies in the energy industry.

McClendon will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer until his successor is appointed. He will also resign from the Board of Directors at that time.

Although retiring, McClendon will continue to be an important partner with the company as he maintains his stock ownership as well as his interests in certain of the company’s wells in connection with the Founder Well Participation Program, which will terminate on June 30, 2014.

McClendon will work in cooperation with the Board as they search for his replacement. The process will include a full review of internal and external candidates.

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