How Christian Beckett recruited a seasoned management team to garner success at start-up Pacific Drilling

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Christian J .Beckett, CEO, Pacific Drilling
Christian J .Beckett, CEO, Pacific Drilling

Energy Services
Christian J. Beckett
Pacific Drilling 

Christian Beckett is the CEO of a start-up offshore drilling company that specializes in ultra-deep water drilling — one of only two drilling companies in the offshore drilling industry capable of drilling at those depths.
Beckett’s vision was to build an elite fleet of drilling ships that serviced only the biggest and most prestigious customers, providing the client with the most advanced equipment to produce efficiently and safely while providing a healthy return on investment to Pacific Drilling’s shareholders.
Beckett was the first employee of Pacific Drilling and was involved in selecting and recruiting each member of the management team. He recruited from the best in the industry as well as those from other professional backgrounds, building a team that was highly seasoned, well-rounded and had the ability to think outside the norm. He would be building a fledgling company into a major player in the market.
Beckett’s philosophy has allowed Pacific Drilling to have an international management team which averages more than 25 years of experience in the offshore drilling industry, which is no easy task for an upstart company.
Aside from staffing a new company, Beckett’s first and foremost difficulty to overcome was a lack of customers. He had to overcome the negativity and doubt from customers who had been in long-standing relationships with Pacific Drilling’s larger competitors. Beckett had experience on his side and his persistence with these potential customers eventually paid off securing the company’s first contract with Chevron.
Today, Pacific Drilling has a two-year backlog with a top-notch customer base including Chevron, Total and Petrobras. Beckett’s other challenge was to acquire the assets and the manpower to service its customers while growing the business.
He strategically planned growth, assessing when new assets would be ordered and delivered while securing contracts. Pacific Drilling went from 16 employees in 2008 to more than 1,100 employees in 2013.
How to reach: Pacific Drilling,