Sunday, April 14, 2024
CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Spotlight - The Rise of America’s Richest Oil Tycoon, Autry Stephens, Amidst the Diamondback Deal

CEO Spotlight

The Rise of America’s Richest Oil Tycoon, Autry Stephens, Amidst the Diamondback Deal

With a career spanning six decades in the oil industry, Autry Stephens stands poised to claim the title of America’s wealthiest oilman. The recent agreement between Diamondback Energy Inc. and Stephens’s Endeavor Energy Resources LP, valued at $26 billion in cash and stock, is of high importance, while Stephens has an estimated net worth of $25.9 billion.

Born from humble beginnings as the son of peanut-and-melon farmers, Stephens, now 85, founded Endeavor in 1979 in Midland, Texas, after gaining experience with Humble Oil, the Army Corps of Engineers, and a local bank. Initially focusing on ad-hoc engineering assistance, Stephens gradually expanded his business, weathering economic downturns and major oil crises, including the 2008 financial crisis.

Stephens’s foresight and strategic investments in drilling rights, particularly in the Permian Basin, positioned Endeavor as a formidable player in the industry. Despite overtures from potential acquirers, Stephens remained steadfast in growing production independently, transforming Endeavor into a cornerstone of the Permian Basin’s private companies.

The recent sale to Diamondback represents a significant milestone for Stephens, who will retain a substantial stake in the combined entity, ensuring his continued involvement in shaping the industry. While not joining Diamondback’s board, Stephens remains confident in the leadership of Lance Robertson and Chuck Meloy, former and current CEOs of Endeavor, who will guide the combined companies.

For Stephens, preserving jobs and the Midland community were paramount in the deal. With Diamondback’s headquarters nearby and a shared ethos focused on efficiency and community improvement, Stephens sees a seamless transition that aligns with his vision for the future of the industry and the region.


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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Spotlight - The Rise of America’s Richest Oil Tycoon, Autry Stephens, Amidst the Diamondback Deal
Anna Siampani
Anna Siampani, Lifestyle Editorial Director at the CEOWORLD magazine, working with reporters covering the luxury travel, high-end fashion, hospitality, and lifestyle industries. As lifestyle editorial director, Anna oversees CEOWORLD magazine's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. You can reach Anna by mail at