Chris Beckett, Founder and CEO, Pacific Drilling

Chris Beckett, Founder and CEO, Pacific Drilling


In 2008, Chris Beckett left a career with an established offshore drilling contractor to build an ultra-deepwater drilling company — from scratch.

Despite the huge challenges and personal risk of this decision, Beckett believed in the possibilities of a company created without the legacy problems common to companies developed over time through mergers and acquisitions.

His willingness to think beyond the established convention has helped put Pacific Drilling in a unique position in the offshore drilling industry.

Bucking the traditional model of building a management team exclusively from oil services industry veterans, Beckett purposefully developed a management team that includes subject matter experts from a variety of professional backgrounds.

By doing so, he hoped to find the best solutions and processes for Pacific Drilling, not just the customary way of doing things.

Beckett empowers his employees to make suggestions and take ownership of processes and projects. To date, Pacific Drilling has experienced employee turnover below the average for its peer companies.

Beckett’s model has led the company to phenomenal success. The company has gone from 16 employees in 2008 to more than 700 employees in 2012 and from two operational drill ships in 2011 to four in 2012 with two more on order.

Beckett, CEO, remains excited about the future of the company and believes there is opportunity to grow the fleet to 10 to 12 ships in the near future. He believes that with the technology and experience in ultra-deep-water drilling, Pacific Drilling will be a preferred provider in the offshore drilling environment as customers look to capitalize on different regions previously not accessible by other competing offshore drilling companies.

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