The founding CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (NYSE: PXD) is returning to the captain’s chair roughly two years after his retirement, the Permian Basin oil and gas producer said Feb. 21.

The company, based in Irving, Texas, announced that Timothy L. Dove will retire as CEO and from the board and, effective immediately, Scott D. Sheffield will return to his former role as CEO.

Sheffield was Pioneer’s founding CEO, serving from 1997 to 2016, and has served as chairman since 1999. In a statement, he said, “Tim has expressed his desire to retire and we have mutually agreed that now is the right time. Tim has been a valued colleague and made meaningful contributions to Pioneer over his 24 years with the company. We wish him well for the future.”


Scott Sheffield Will Retire As CEO Of Pioneer Natural Resources 

Pioneer’s Sheffield: The Permian And The Rest

Lead director, J. Kenneth Thompson, who takes over as board chairman following the move, said Sheffield is “fully committed” to the CEO role for the long term.

Pioneer began as a $32 million company in 1985 and currently has a market cap of more than $23 billion. The company and its predecessor, Parker & Parsley Petroleum Co., built a legacy position in the core of the Spraberry/Wolfcamp Field in the Permian Basin through the 1980s and 1990s—roots that Pioneer returned to within the past year.

“Over the last several years, our industry has changed significantly, and we have become a pure-play Permian company,” Sheffield said. “Our board and I are focused on continuing to enhance performance and capital efficiency and delivering strong results for our shareholders. In the coming weeks, I plan to engage with our employees and shareholders to understand their views on how to expand Pioneer’s industry leadership position.”

Sheffield joined Parker & Parsley as a petroleum engineer in 1979 and was promoted in 1981 to vice president of engineering. He was elected president and a director in 1985 before becoming Parker & Parsley’s chairman and CEO in 1989.

In 1997, Pioneer was formed from the successful merger of Parker & Parsley and Mesa Petroleum with Sheffield as its CEO.

Dove added in a statement, “I believe that, for me personally, it is the right time to step aside. I am grateful for the opportunities afforded me over the years at Pioneer, and I am excited for my next chapter. It has been a true honor to lead the people of Pioneer. I look forward to seeing them do great things in the future.”

Dove joined Parker & Parsley in 1994 as vice president of business development and was promoted to senior vice president in 1996 where he served until the formation of Pioneer in 1997.

With Pioneer, Dove served as executive vice president of business development until 2000, when he became executive vice president and CFO. In 2004, he was named the company’s president and COO and was elected to the board of directors in 2013.

Prior to joining Parker & Parsley, Dove worked for Diamond Shamrock Corp. and a successor, Maxus Energy Corp.

Emily Patsy can be reached at