John D. Schiller Jr., founder, chairman and CEO, Energy XXI Ltd.

Exploration & Production – Finalist

John D. Schiller Jr. took something from every experience he had after graduating from Texas A&M University and going into the oil and gas business. He watched the business change significantly and experienced many of the mergers and consolidations that took place through the 1980s and 1990s.

It all put him in position to launch his own business in 2004, Energy XXI Ltd. The experience Schiller gained put him in position to effectively build a business and then guide it to be a leader in the industry. Perhaps even more importantly, his knowledge gave him the ability to trust his engineers and empower them to make decisions that were best for the business.

Schiller has faced plenty of challenges in the growth of Energy XXI. Operating along the Gulf of Mexico, he has faced the constant threat of hurricanes and occasionally significant damage from storms that did materialize.

But through his confident leadership, his faith in his team and a willingness to make the tough decisions, Schiller has been able to weather the storms and keep Energy XXI marching forward.

The company has made acquisitions to bolster its capabilities and Schiller’s people skills have helped make those integrations seamless. Schiller expects a lot from his people when the situation warrants it, but he is also comfortable letting his people relax when everything has been handled and there’s a lull in actions that need to be taken.

Schiller continues to look for ways to make his company better, but he does so in a methodical manner that doesn’t put him or his company at risk.

How to reach: Energy XXI Ltd.,