UPDATE 1-Three top executives exit Chesapeake Energy

(Adds detail from company document)

June 11 (Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp said on Friday that three executives will leave the company, the latest exits this year after it launched a search for a new chief executive and emerged from bankruptcy.

Frank Patterson, executive vice president of exploration and production; James Webb, general counsel; and William Buergler, senior vice president, will depart on Friday, according to a regulatory filing.

The exits came after former Chief Executive Officer Doug Lawler left in April. Chesapeake emerged from a contentious bankruptcy reorganization earlier this year.

Chesapeake employees on Tuesday will attend a town hall presentation “where we will share additional thoughts on our path forward as a company, provide an update on our search for a permanent CEO, and give additional details on our compensation,” according to an internal memo, which was seen by Reuters.

The memo is signed by board Chairman Mike Wichterich, who is serving as interim CEO, and details the reporting chain of command following Friday’s executive changes. It also wishes the departing executives “the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

Wichterich and Chief Financial Officer Domenic Dell’Osso will lead Tuesday’s employee meeting.

A Chesapeake spokesperson declined to comment.

The board of directors treated the departures as termination without cause, according to the regulatory filing, which said that severance payments would be made.

Once the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, Chesapeake filed for court protection last June, reeling from overspending on assets and a sudden decline in demand and oil prices spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It emerged from bankruptcy in February after fending off a challenge to the plan by unsecured creditors. (Reporting by Jennifer Hiller; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Leslie Adler)