Anadarko’s Jim Hackett to Attend Harvard Divinity School

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Executive Chairman Jim Hackett plans to attend Harvard Divinity School following his retirement from the $41.8 billion oil and natural gas company he led for almost 10 years.

Hackett, 59, wants to become better prepared to write, speak and teach about faith and leadership, John Christiansen, a spokesman for The Woodlands, Texas-based company, said in an e-mail today. The former chairman of the Dallas Federal Reserve board, has spent his career working for energy companies including Devon Energy Corp., Duke Energy Corp. and Amoco Oil Co.

Hackett turned his CEO duties over last year to Al Walker, who will also become chairman in May. Hackett will retire from Anadarko in June, after leading it through more than $21 billion in acquisitions and an oil spill at BP Plc’s Macondo well, in which the company owned a 25 percent stake.

Pursuing faith and leadership “has been a long-held interest of Jim’s and one of the key reasons he is retiring from Anadarko,” Christiansen said today.

Hackett has a strong Catholic faith and studied comparative religion in high school, he said in a 2010 interview. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor of science from the University of Illinois, according to the company’s website. He and his wife Maureen have four children.

Church Donation

A “substantial” donation from the Hacketts several years ago helped to make possible an expanded rectory and parish office facility at Houston’s Saint Anne Catholic Community, Jay Walsh, a priest at the church, said in a phone interview today. He declined to give the exact amount from the couple, who attend services at the church.

Hackett is on the board of trustees for Rice University and has served on the board of the Houston Grand Opera.

Harvard Divinity School, established in 1816, was the second professional institution founded at Harvard, after its medical school. The school’s graduates include Ralph Waldo Emerson and Horatio Alger, according to the website.

Tom Chappell, president and co-founder of Tom’s of Maine Inc., has a master’s degree from the divinity school, said Jonathan Beasley, a school spokesman.

The divinity school, with an average student age of 26, enrolled 339 people in the past academic year, with approximately 30 religious affiliations, according to its website. The school awards masters and doctoral degrees in divinity and theological studies.

Transforming Anadarko

Anadarko didn’t specify whether Hackett would be seeking a degree at the school.

Hackett took over as CEO in December 2003, helping to transform it from a company with missed production targets to one known for projects off the coast of Africa, in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore U.S. Anadarko is the largest U.S. independent oil and gas producer by market value behind ConocoPhillips. Independent producers don’t own refineries or a chemical unit.

His tenure included the acquisitions of Kerr-McGee Corp. and Western Gas Resources Inc., which were first announced in 2006. Hackett also led the company through the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Anadarko eventually paid BP $4 billion as part of a settlement.

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