17 Billion Reasons This Oil CEO Says His Company Grew Despite Him
Life + Money

17 Billion Reasons This Oil CEO Says His Company Grew Despite Him

REUTERS/Steve Sisney

Most CEOs are happy to take credit for the success of their company, but Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm is claiming his company’s explosive growth is due to factors beyond his control.

That’s the argument Hamm’s lawyers have made during the chief executive’s nine-week divorce trial. If a judge buys the argument, Hamm won’t have to split the $17 billion he holds in shares of the shale-drilling company with his soon-to-be ex-wife Sue Ann Hamm, a former attorney at Continental, Reuters reports.  

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If a judge agrees that the growth of Continental Resources is the result of passive factors, such as oil price growth, Harold Hamm will get to keep his stock. If the judge disagrees, the divorce judgment could be the largest in history, according to Reuters.

Harold – the richest man in Oklahoma – is probably hoping the judge doesn’t read his Forbes profile, which claims that the CEO “has transformed the U.S. oil industry like no one since John D. Rockefeller.” Time magazine also named him one of the world’s most influential people in 2012.

The 13th child of sharecroppers, Harold founded the company in 1967 and was married once before his marriage to Sue Ann in 1988. She filed for divorce in May 2012, alleging that her husband was having an affair.

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