Chesapeake Energy Corp. appointed Josh Viets executive vice president and COO, effective Feb. 1.

For the last 20 years, Viets has worked in operational positions of increasing importance at ConocoPhillips Co. He most recently served as vice president of ConocoPhillips’ Delaware Basin asset.

“Josh has been at the forefront of how our industry is evolving for the future, and I am excited to welcome him to the Chesapeake team,” Nick Dell’Osso, president and CEO of Chesapeake, commented in a release from the company on Jan. 25.

Separately on Jan. 25, Chesapeake unveiled a flurry of A&D activity totaling over $3 billion that refocused the Oklahoma City-based company’s portfolio on shale gas. Transactions included the previously rumored acquisition of Chief Oil & Gas and an exit from the Powder River Basin.

Upon the anticipated closing of the transactions later in the first quarter, Chesapeake’s newly simplified portfolio will include refocused positions in the Marcellus, Haynesville and Eagle Ford shale plays.

“As we refocus our portfolio around our strongest assets, Josh’s demonstrated operational leadership, technical ability, and diverse experience driving efficiencies which deliver results will play a critical role in our future success,” Dell’Osso added in the separate release.

While with ConocoPhillips, Viets previously held leadership positions in operations, engineering, subsurface, and capital project across the Houston-based company’s portfolio. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Colorado School of Mines.

“The world needs affordable, reliable, lower-carbon energy, and I am honored to join a company that is well-positioned and deeply committed to delivering on all three counts,” Viets commented. “I firmly believe Chesapeake has the assets, scale, balance sheet, and technical expertise to responsibly deliver differential returns for our stakeholders, and I look forward to working with Nick and the talented team to ensure we do so.”