J. Michael Yeager

Board Member

J. Michael Yeager is the former Chief Executive Officer of BHP Petroleum. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy where he played football on teams that won the Commander In Chief’s Trophy three straight years. Upon graduation in 1976, Yeager was commissioned into the United States Marine Corps where he served as an artillery officer for five and half years, deploying numerous times throughout the Pacific. 

Immediately upon leaving the Marine Corps, Yeager began working for ExxonMobil where he held many different positions over 28 years of working as a petroleum engineer. He rose through the ranks to the ultimate position of Vice President managing various regions of the world. In different job assignments, he managed all of the operations in Europe, Africa, the United States and Canada. He and his family lived in 20 locations across the United States and around the world, and he was responsible for the operations in over 40 countries. When he was asked to come to BHP Petroleum as the CEO, he led the company to drill wells in some of the deepest water in the industry where each new well took two years to plan, cost over $100 million to drill and produced up to 20,000 barrels a day. He also led the drilling of hundreds of wells in the United States onshore shale developments. While Yeager was the CEO, oil and gas production increased from 300,000 barrels per day to over 650,000 barrels per day at the end of the eight years he was in the job. 

Yeager serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation. He is also a Trustee for the Naval Academy Athletic and Scholarship Program where he holds the position of Chairman of Fundraising for all of Navy’s 35 men’s and women’s Division 1 sports teams. He is on the board of the Houston Marine Corps League where the organization provides assistance to Marines in need, teaches military history to high school JROTC students and performs funeral honors at the Houston national cemetery for Fallen Marines. 

In addition to his BSc. degree from the Naval Academy, Yeager holds an MSc. from the University of Southern California. In 2022 he was named a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He and his wife, Robin, live in Houston, Texas and Annapolis, Maryland.