Baker Hughes chairman to retire; Craighead moves up

Baker Hughes Chairman Chad Deaton will retire this spring, the company said Monday. President and CEO Martin Craighead will assume the chairman’s role, in addition to his current duties.

Deaton, who joined the company in 2004, will retire at the company’s annual meeting April 25.

The announcement comes less than a week after the company announced its fourth-quarter earnings. Like other service companies, Baker Hughes reported that onshore drilling declines in North America had hurt earnings, and its fourth-quarter profits fell.

Even so, the returns were slightly better than analysts had predicted, driven by strong international performance.

John Riley, lead director of the Baker Hughes board, praised Deaton’s leadership.

“He has helped transform the company into one of the strongest companies in the marketplace as a leader in technology with a highly talented workforce,” Riley said in a statement.

Deaton joined the company as chairman, president and CEO. In January 2012, he assumed the role of executive chairman.

Craighead, who joined the company in 1986, was appointed chief operating officer in 2009 and president in 2010. He has served as president and CEO since January 2012.

Deaton described Craighead as an outstanding leader.

“I am confident that Martin’s knowledge of our business and the industry will greatly benefit our investors, customers and employees for many years to come,” he said in a statement.

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About The Author

Jeannie Kever joined the Houston Chronicle's energy team in September 2012. A native of West Texas, she has been at the Houston Chronicle since 1997, working in the features department for 10 years before moving to the city desk, where she reported on higher education, the 2010 Census and health care before moving to the business desk. She previously worked at the Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune, the San Antonio Light, the Longview (Washington) Daily News, the El Paso Times and the San Angelo Standard Times.