The duty of directors is always to direct the affairs of the corporation so as to maximize its value for the benefit of its stakeholders. When a corporation is solvent, those stakeholders are the corporation’s shareholders. When the corporation is insolvent, its creditors take the place of the shareholders as the residual beneficiaries of any increase in its value.
Energy companies will seek bankruptcy protection with the support of their secured creditors. They will retain a great deal of the equipment and restructure their unsecured creditors, including suppliers, sub contractors and lease obligations.
Managers with expertise who are willing to put their reputation on the line for a struggling company are few and far between – especially if the last guy quit. It is difficult to head hunt someone willing to step in at the helm of the Titanic, inches away from the iceberg.