On July 31, 2014, Bill Chiles retired as President and CEO of Bristow Group Inc. (BRS – NYSE), a publically traded and leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry with five hundred helicopters operating in 22 countries and 5,000 employees. Bristow grew from $500 million in revenue in 2004 to $2 billion by 2014. He continues to serve as a Senior Advisor and CEO Emeritus. In addition, he is Co-Managing Partner of Pelican Energy Partners, a private equity firm specializing in investments in the energy service sector.
Chiles joined Bristow in July 2004 as President, CEO and a board member after a 32-year career in the offshore oil & gas drilling business. He began his career with Western Oceanic, Inc. in 1972, as a Floorman, Derrickman, and Driller in the North Sea out of Aberdeen, Scotland, and then Rig Manager, Operations Manager, and VP – Domestic Operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
Chiles likely has more hours of stick time than anyone who has never received a license! He is finally pursuing finishing his ticket via the Cirrus SR20/22 and having a ball.
Bill grew up around aviators in Alice, TX, and always had an acute love of aviation and mechanical things. He attended Texas Military Institute in San Antonio with the plan to attend the Naval Academy and fly jets. He found out he was nearsighted, so he changed his career path to a 32 year career in offshore oil and gas drilling, never losing his passion for aviation.
In 2004, he became CEO of Bristow and created “Target Zero”, the Bristow Culture of Safety, which has been copied around the world by other operators as the model for making a step change in rotary wing safety. In 2013, he was one of the principal founders of HeliOffshore, the International Offshore Helicopter Association, based in London.
Chiles did helicopter flight training at Bristow Academy in Florida and multiple trips out to Barron Hilton’s Flying M Ranchy with world-class aviators like Neal Armstrong, Gene Cernan, Chuck Yeager, Steve Fossett, etc., flying all kinds of cool aircraft like an Extra 300, Decathlon, Staggerwing Beach, Stearman, Sikorsky S-38 flying boat, sailplanes, and flying the #7 jet with the Blue Angels.
Bill and his wife, Wendy, reside in Houston and have five children.