Michael E. Wiley
2012 Outstanding Business Leader
Michael E. Wiley’s career began in the rugged oil patch and blossomed behind the CEO’s desk where he guided several high-profile energy businesses. Always believing there is not just one formula for management and leadership, Wiley approached each challenge with flexibility. His passion was building a culture of integrity, performance and teamwork that creates value over a long period time.
Wiley is the retired chairman, president and CEO of Baker Hughes, the world’s third-largest oilfield services company. His leadership followed a 28-year career at Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) where he rose from production manager to president and chief operating officer. His bold leadership would ultimately boost the company as the domestic oil and gas business continued a several-year decline in the early 1990s.
In 1993, Wiley proposed the domestic exploration and production business be split up in order to develop a more entrepreneurial company that could compete and grow. As he recommended, the natural gas businesses were spun off as Vastar Resources, which began trading publicly in 1994, with Wiley as CEO. At its sale to BP in 2000, Vastar had tripled in value and was recognized as the leading independent in exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico.
Only two months after the acquisition of ARCO by BP, Baker Hughes recruited Wiley to turn around the oilfield services giant, which was languishing from accounting problems and the departure of the company’s top leaders in 2000. As the newly-appointed president, chairman and CEO of Baker Hughes, Wiley presented the board with a set of long-term objectives for righting the ship. By the time he retired four years later, Baker Hughes was positioned as a best-in-class leader in the oilfield services industry.
Since his retirement, Wiley has served on the Board of Directors of Tesoro Corporation and Bill Barrett Corporation, and on the Board of Trustees of the Fidelity Equity Funds. In the community, Wiley has served on the boards of the Houston Grand Opera, The Houston Museum of Natural Science, Spindletop Charities and The University of Tulsa Board of Trustees, as well as numerous industry associations, including chairman of the Natural Gas Supply Association.
Wiley earned his Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering from The University of Tulsa in 1972 where he has also been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus and as a member of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences Hall of Fame. He received an MBA from the University of Dallas in 1981. Wiley and his wife, Laura, have two children, Sara and Richard.