Marcia MacLeod

Working in the energy exploration and production industry from the company’s corporate offices in Tulsa is a natural fit for this native Oklahoman

Marcia MacLeod, Senior VP of Human Resources and Administration, WPX Energy

The US is experiencing a great deal of innovation in the midst of this natural gas and energy boom. American energy companies are vastly reducing our country’s need to import oil.

Breaking down silos is beneficial. Silos build up over time, and people get comfortable within them. But people will work outside of that when you can show them the value of broader, more diverse work teams.

In a competitive recruiting environment, our challenge is to attract innovative talent. This company is not hierarchical and is known for high degrees of integrity and entrepreneurial spirit.

To bring out new ideas in people, give them an opportunity to make their ideas a reality.

I’m always drawn to interesting people and interesting work. My career path has taken me from communications to law to human resources. I enjoy communicating and writing, and I always knew I would go to law school. But, after working in banking and at a law firm, I moved to  JC Penney and held management positions at HEB Grocers and Electronic Data Systems. I then joined Williams and went with WPX Energy when it spun off from Williams in 2011.

The history of boom-bust cycles in energy requires managing with a risk mentality. A key factor affecting our industry today is a divergence of oil and gas prices, where oil is globally priced while gas is largely driven by North American demand. Consequently, we strive for a balanced portfolio of oil, gas, and natural gas liquids.

What defines a productive day for me has changed. When I was in my thirties and forties, it was about “winning.” But in my fifties, it’s different—it’s about giving back. That means helping individuals grow, getting them excited about change, as well as community work on hunger issues. Oklahoma is on the precipice of greatness, but getting there includes addressing poverty and education issues.

Procrastination never makes a decision better. Paralysis by analysis does not fit into this company. If we do our jobs right, 90 percent of the decisions we make will be correct and the other 10 percent we can fix.

What’s interesting to other people varies. Some people like to stay in their area of expertise, but others end up branching into management—they prefer to explore new areas, which is why my career in management has spanned from human resources and benefits to leading … outsourcing efforts and even serving as CIO before joining WPX. I have new perspectives because of all of these roles.