Steven C. Dixon, former COO of Chesapeake Energy Corp., has been named CEO of Oklahoma City-based Tapstone Energy LLC effective Jan. 1. Dixon will replace Tom L. Ward, who co-founded Chesapeake with Aubrey McClendon and later founded and ran SandRidge Energy Corp. until 2013. Ward launched Tapstone a few months after leaving SandRidge, and he plans to “maintain a large ownership stake” as he focuses on another venture also to be based in Oklahoma City. Dixon, who joined Chesapeake in 1991,served as interim CEO from April-June 2013 after McClendon was ousted. Tapstone, with close to 150 employees, has acquired and developed “an impressive acreage position in a prolific area of the Anadarko Basin,” within the STACK, aka, the Sooner Trend of the Anadarko Basin, mostly in Canadian and Kingfisher counties, Dixon said. Ward said Tapstone “is well positioned to experience incredible growth” under Dixon’s leadership.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed former WPX Energy Inc. executive Ken McQueen as a cabinet secretary for the Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources. McQueen, 61, is in charge of implementing the state’s “all-of-the-above” approach, promoting the development of all energy sources. The retired WPX vice president had managed assets in New Mexico’s Four Corners area, Colorado and parts of Wyoming and has been an adjunct professor at the University of Tulsa, where he earned a degree in petroleum engineering.