McNease commented, "Bob Palmer has guided Rowan for over thirty years. He has advanced Rowan to the forefront of offshore drilling technology and has created significant value for our employees and shareholders. His presence and leadership will be missed, but we will continue to receive his valuable guidance and counsel as a member of our Board of Directors."
Palmer became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rowan in 1972. He oversaw the construction of Rowan's first jack-up rig, the Rowan-Houston, which was delivered in 1970. During Palmer's tenure, Rowan built over twenty-five offshore rigs, including its harsh environment Gorilla and Super Gorilla class rigs. Most recently, it accepted delivery of its first Tarzan Class rig designed for drilling extremely deep wells on the continental shelf. Palmer serves on the Department of Energy's National Petroleum Council, and the boards of the American Petroleum Institute, the International Association of Drilling Contractors (past president), The Boone & Crockett Club, and is a past president of and member of the National Ocean Industries Association.
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