Bob Palmer has been a in the offshore drilling industry and has spent considerable time and
resources meeting and discussing with government officials at the State
and Federal levels on the importance of our industry. Until his
retirement he chaired Rowan Companies who was one of the key companies
in jackup rigs, diversified with an aviation company, and further
stepped out into the rig manufacturing business with LeTourneau.
Bob is a graduate of Southern Methodist University starting at Rowan
in 1953 and working his way up through the ranks. He became President of
the Rowan Offshore Drilling Company in 1969. In August of that year
Rowan ordered their first offshore rig, a jackup that went to work in
Nicaragua for Shell in May 1970. Bob became CEO in 1972. He guided Rowan
through its growth in the offshore drilling contracting business,
diversified into aviation, and later into rig building through the
acquisition of LeTourneau. He was quick to emphasize safety with some
of the early behavior-based programs.
Bob Palmer provided leadership in industry and government serving as
President of IADC, Chairman of National Ocean Industries Association,
Director of API, and a member of the National Petroleum Council. Bob’s
1982 election to be the President of IADC surely reflects the fact that
he was recognized by his peers in the offshore drilling business as one
of their earlier leaders.