Malcolm Theobald was one of the last people to earn a UW-Madison bachelor’s degree in mining engineering before that program evolved into the Geological Engineering Program. But Theobald’s career arc very much embodies the vision that today’s GLE program has for its students and alumni.
After graduating in 1983, Theobald embarked on a long and diverse career with Schlumberger, one of the major suppliers of technical services in the oil and gas industry. In multiple roles as an engineer and manager with Schlumberger, he worked on projects in places spanning from Louisiana to Norway to the North Sea. These adventures required him to draw on skills ranging from data services to marketing.
Theobald says that his UW-Madison engineering education enabled him to keep pace with the geographical and technical whirlwind of his early post-college career. “Coming out of a respected engineering school positioned me to be hired then by a company that values technology as one of its main principles. People, profits and technology are what Schlumberger is all about,” Theobald says. “A pretty heavy dose of technology and a lot of responsibility were dumped on me at a very young age. Suddenly, six months after graduating from college, I was managing a couple
or three operators on location.”
Since 2001 Theobald has been based at the company’s Houston headquarters, where he currently serves as president of its bits and advanced technologies division. In this capacity, he oversees more than 3,000 employees and the development of sophisticated drilling technologies for some of the most challenging operations in the oil and gas industry. Before taking on his current role, Theobald managed the corporate relationship between Schlumberger and ExxonMobil, and served for nearly seven years as vice president of investor relations.
Theobald has remained engaged with the highly successful GLE program of today, including serving as a member of the GLE board
of visitors, and Schlumberger frequently recruits new GLE graduates for jobs and internships.
He lives in Houston with his wife Janice. They have two sons, Jordan and Alex, and two daughters, Shannon and Taylor.