For the second time in his career, Pioneer Natural Resources’ Scott D. Sheffield is retiring as CEO of one of the Permian Basin’s premier oil producing E&Ps.
Sheffield is expected to continue to serve on the board following his retirement, the company said in an April 26 press release. Pioneer’s board named Richard “Rich” P. Dealy as the company’s next CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2024. Dealy has already been nominated for election to the board.
Sheffield previously stepped down from the CEO role in 2016 when the company was worth $28 billion. Pioneer’s founding CEO returned roughly two years later, and Sheffield has since led the company to a $52 billion market capitalization through increase production, a focus on the Permian’s Midland Basin and a series of multi-billion dollar acquisitions.
Dealy, Pioneer’s president and COO, brings more than 30 years of industry experience in roles spanning nearly all operations and business functions at Pioneer and its predecessor company, Parker & Parsley Petroleum Co. The company began operations in 1985 and, with Sheffield at the helm, expanded from a modest $32 million company through its 1997 merger with Mesa Petroleum.
Pioneer said Dealy has been pivotal to securing Pioneer's leading operational and financial position.
“During his tenure, Pioneer built one of the strongest investment grade balance sheets in the industry, became the largest oil producer in the State of Texas, had five consecutive years of operational efficiency improvements and successfully integrated the acquisitions of Parsley Energy and Double Point Energy,” the company said.
Dealy is the right leader to build on the foundation built by Sheffield, Pioneer Chair Ken Thompson said.
“He embodies the Pioneer culture, and now is the right time to implement the robust succession plan we have put in place,” Thompson said. “Scott has been a trailblazer in this industry, and he has guided Pioneer through multiple commodities and market cycles, as well as recent macroeconomic challenges, including the pandemic. The board is deeply grateful to Scott for his leadership over the years and respects his decision to retire in order to spend more time with his personal and philanthropic interests.”
Sheffield called Dealy a disciplined and focused leader.
"His three-decade track record of operational and financial contributions, industry knowledge and inspiring leadership have prepared him to take the helm of Pioneer with a sure hand and a clear strategic vision," he said.
During the transition period, Dealy will continue to work closely with Sheffield on executing the company's strategy.
"I'm honored to succeed Scott as CEO and look forward to working with him on the board," Dealy said. "For over 30 years, Pioneer and its amazing people, along with this exciting and vitally important industry, have defined my professional life. I am thrilled by the opportunity to lead our world-class company—delivering on the strategy that we've laid out, creating value for our shareholders and continuing to nurture a culture that makes Pioneer one of the best and most rewarding places in our industry to work."
Dealy was appointed to his current roles in January 2021. Previously, he served as executive vice president and CFO from November 2004 through December 2020.
Sheffield has received The Permian Basin Petroleum Association’s Top Hand award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership within the oil and gas industry and the Permian Basin community. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas.
Along with his role in promoting the shale revolution, Sheffield helped lift the U.S. crude oil export ban.
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