Joe B. Foster

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Joe B. Foster
JFB australia photo.2000.jpg
Foster on an offshore rig, drilling for Newfield Exploration Company in the Timor Sea.
Born Joe Bill Foster
(1934-07-25) July 25, 1934 (age 83)
Arp, Texas, U.S.
Residence Houston, Texas, U.S.
Citizenship United States
Occupation Oilman, Businessman
Known for
Board member of
  • Harriet Foster (m. 1991)[2]
  • Mary Alice Foster (m. 1957; div. 1990)[3]

Joe B. Foster (born July 25, 1934) is an American businessman, oilman and philanthropist from Texas. From 1989 to 2005, Foster was Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Newfield Exploration Company, headquartered in Houston. Previously, Foster was Chairman of Tenneco Oil Company and Executive Vice President and director of its parent, Tenneco Inc. He was with Tenneco for 31 years and also served as Chairman of the Tenneco Gas Pipeline Group.[4]

Foster was born in Arp, Texas and attended Texas A&M University. He graduated in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in general business. In May 1997, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University.[5] Foster served as Chairman of the National Petroleum Council, an industry advisory body to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, and in 1995–1996 served as Chairman of the Offshore Committee of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. He was a Director of Memorial Hermann Hospital System and has served as Chairman of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Greater Houston YMCA, and the Texas A&M Development Foundation.[1] He also served on the Boards of Baker Hughes Incorporated and New Jersey Resources Corporation.[6] Currently, Foster is a chairman and senior advisor at Tudor, Pickering, and Holt.


In addition to his tenures at Newfield and Tenneco, Joe Foster's corporate directorships include Baker Hughes, Inc., McDermott International, Inc., New Jersey Resources Corporation, Valero Energy, Dual Drilling, and Targa Resources, Inc. From February through August 2000, Foster served as interim chairman, president and chief executive officer of Baker Hughes Incorporated, while the company searched for a new chief executive. In 2001–2002, Foster served as the Independent Trustee for a large portion of Texaco’s refining and marketing assets which were required to be divested in the course of the Chevron-Texaco merger.[1][7][8]

Tenneco Oil[edit]

Foster was chairman of Tenneco Oil Company and executive vice president and director of its parent, Tenneco Inc.[9] He began with Tenneco as a Junior Petroleum Engineer in Oklahoma City in 1957. After serving in several engineering positions in Lafayette, Louisiana while Tenneco was establishing its Gulf of Mexico operations, he became Chief of Planning and Economic Analysis for Tenneco Oil Exploration and Production in Houston in 1968. He rose though the ranks of Tenneco Oil becoming its president in 1978. In 1981, he was named to the Board of Directors of Tenneco Inc. and assumed corporate level responsibility for all of Tenneco Inc.’s upstream, downstream, and gas pipeline businesses. He left Tenneco when its board elected to divest Tenneco Oil in 1988.[10][11]

Newfield Exploration[edit]

Joe B. Foster is the founder of Newfield Exploration Company, a Houston-based oil and gas exploration company. He served as chief executive officer until his retirement from active management in January 2000, and remained as chairman of its board until May 2005. Foster founded Newfield in 1989 as a private start-up with $9 million of equity capital provided by himself, other employees, a group of Houston investors, and University of Texas Endowment funds. It became a public company in 1993, and its recent market value was about $5 billion.[5][12]

Tudor, Pickering, & Holt[edit]

Foster currently affiliated with the Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. investment banking firm, serving as Chairman of its TPH Partners private equity Fund I, and as a Senior Advisor to its Fund II. In addition, he participates as a non-operating partner in drilling oil and gas wells in the Gulf Coast area.[4]


He has served on several not-for-profit boards of directors, including the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Houston Hospice, and the YMCA of Greater Houston. He has also served as Chairman of Houston A+ Challenge, (formerly Houston Annenberg Challenge), an organization directed at improving public schools in the Houston area.[2]

Community service[edit]

  • Chairman, Greater Houston YMCA, 1989–91
  • Chairman, Houston Museum of Natural Science, 1991
  • Chairman, Houston A+ Challenge, 2009-10
  • Director, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, 1999–2006
  • Director, Houston Hospice
  • Texas A&M Foundation, Trustee, 1988–96; Chairman, 1993[13]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Foster was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" in Houston's Energy Sector in 1994 and an "All American Wildcatter" in 1995. In 2004, he was named a Gulf of Mexico "Industry Pioneer" by the Offshore Energy Center in Galveston, Texas, and has been named the Houston World Affairs Council's 2006 Jones International Citizen of the Year.

Awards received[edit]

  • Houston Entrepreneur of the Year, Energy Sector, 1994 [2]
  • Distinguished Alumnus, Texas A&M, 1997[14]
  • Spindletop Service Award, 2000[13]
  • Mays College of Business, Outstanding Alumnus, 2001[5]
  • Joe B. Foster Chair in Business Leadership, Mays Business School, 2004[5]
  • Texas Business Hall of Fame, 2006[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Joe B. Foster '56". Corps of Cadets. Texas A&M University. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Hughes, Kim (October 15, 2007). "Memorial couple Joe and Harriet Foster to be honored by Houston Hospice". Houston Chronicle. 
  3. ^ "Mary Alice Forster". Bangor Daily News. September 25, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b "Joe B. Foster Joins Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co" (Press release). Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Reuters. January 16, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Grads Honored for Teaching, Service, Marketing Efforts". Texas A&M University. Mays Business School. September 1, 2006. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Joe B. Foster". The Wall Street Transcript. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  7. ^ Washington, Don (June 7, 1999). "Joe B. Foster Elected to McDermott International Board of Directors" (Press release). McDermott International. 
  8. ^ Archived from the original on July 24, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^[dead link]
  10. ^ "Company News; Bids Are Weighed For Tenneco Units". The New York Times. June 3, 1988. 
  11. ^ "Two Top Executives at Tenneco Plan to Leave". Los Angeles Times. December 15, 1988. 
  12. ^ Archived from the original on June 27, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ a b Smith, Arthur (2011). Something From Nothing: Joe B. Foster And The People Who Built Newfield Exploration Company. Houston Texas: Bright Sky Press. p. 216. ISBN 1933979437. 
  14. ^ "Joe B. Foster Joins Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co" (Press release). Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Business Wire. 


External links[edit]