An Inspiring CEO: Hildebrand Gets “Two Thumbs Up” From Motley Fool

Simply put, we have an inspiring CEO. Jeff Hildebrand definitely sets the standard; he’s accessible, communicates openly and makes each employee feel valued with his actions. Recently Motley Fool published an article about our leader that captures much of what he’s done that inspires us all. 

Here are a few excerpts from that article…:

“The Motley Fool's readers have spoken, and I have heeded your cries. After months of pointing out CEO gaffes and faux pas, I've decided to make it a weekly tradition to also point out corporate leaders who are putting the interests of shareholders and the public first and are generally deserving of praise from investors.

This week, I'm going to step out of the public arena and highlight a truly exceptional (and reclusive) CEO in the private sector, Jeffery Hildebrand of Hilcorp Energy. There are plenty of well-run publicly traded companies, but every so often a privately held company catches my eye that I feel deserves a pat on the back. Today, it's Hilcorp's turn.

As you might imagine, finding out production, location, and other information about a privately held oil and gas exploration and production operator can be difficult. Thankfully, Hilcorp's website helped fill in some of the missing pieces.

Kudos to you, Mr. Hildebrand. Hilcorp employs approximately 1,000 people in 11 different regions, including the Cook Inlet in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Rocky Mountains. Hildebrand founded Hilcorp, building it up little by little since 1989 by purchasing predominantly discarded assets by major E&P oil and gas companies and utilizing its superior technology to develop those assets and, occasionally, to sell those assets for a profit. Hilcorp did exactly this in September, agreeing to part ways with three fields in the central Gulf of Mexico shelf that it had acquired previously from Chevron. In total, Hilcorp received $550 million by selling these properties to EPL Oil & Gas, helping that E&P company double its proven reserves and boost its oil output to approximately 20,000 barrels per day…

…In addition to garnering exceptionally lucrative deals, which has helped grow Hilcorp to become the third-largest privately held E&P company, Jeffrey Hildebrand has done a phenomenal job in motivating his employees and rewarding the communities his company operates in despite the fact that he's the sole shareholder in the company.

To begin with, Hildebrand might be offering the most robust, across-the-board monetary perk I've ever seen. In 2006, Hildebrand began a campaign known as Double Drive, which aimed to double Hilcorp's value, its oil-field production rate, and its net oil and gas reserves by 2010. If met, he promised each employee a voucher for $50,000 toward the purchase of a new car. With that goal met, approximately 700 employees received a $50,000 voucher in 2011. The new drive, dubbed Dream 2015, will award Hilcorp's 1,000 employees with a $100,000 bonus – that's right, $100,000 – if the company again doubles its value, net production, and reserves by 2015.

Hilcorp, despite being privately held, is also the cream of the crop when it comes to community donations and encouraging its employees to give back to the community. Hilcorp gives $2,500 to each new employee to donate to the 501(c)(3)-approved non-profit organization of their choice upon hiring. In each year following an employee's initial year, Hilcorp will match dollar for dollar up to $2,000 to qualifying non-profit organizations. Since its inception, Hilcorp's employees have donated $5.26 million via this method.

On top of donating, Hilcorp employees often volunteer their time in their local communities and Hilcorp itself aids employees with children by providing educational scholarships.

Two thumbs up

After reviewing the numerous strategic moves Hildebrand has made as CEO and the bounty of rewards that this leader has promised and previously delivered to his employees, it's not difficult to see why Fortune 500 selected Hilcorp as the seventh in its list of "Best Companies to Work For" in 2013. Hildebrand has made incredibly smart deals and is doing a fantastic job in supporting his employees and the community -- a job that I feel is worth two emphatic thumbs up!”