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By Heather Brilliant, CFA | 01-07-2013 12:00 PM

NOV Ready to Go Global

Morningstar CEO of the Year Pete Miller of National Oilwell Varco sees sustainable drilling prospects worldwide and expects the firm to use its expertise honed in the U.S. to take advantage of a global boom.

Heather Brilliant: Hello. I am Heather Brilliant, the global director of equity and corporate credit research here at Morningstar. And joining me today is Pete Miller, from National Oilwell Varco. Pete is our 2012 CEO of the Year award winner. Pete, thanks for joining me.

Merrill (Pete) Miller Jr.: My pleasure, Heather.

Brilliant: Congratulations on winning this award. We're very happy to designate you as our 2012 CEO of the Year. Clearly, you have had many accomplishments during your tenure as CEO. One I'd like to ask you about in particular is how you have built the business really into a company that has a wide moat and a positive moat trend. There are really a very small handful of companies in our entire coverage universe that have achieved this. So, tell me a little bit about your accomplishments and what you're most proud of having accomplished at NOV?

Miller Jr.: Well, it's a great question, Heather. I think as we take a look back, we can go as far back as 1996 when I first joined the company, and the drilling equipment business was still very fragmented. There were many people that were in financial trouble, but it was also pretty clear to people that understood the industry that at some point in time we were going to have to retool the industry. And I think it was just a question of getting the pieces in place, making sure that you have things that quite frankly at that time, other people didn't want.

So, we were able to make a lot of acquisitions early on companies that had financial issues, but we were able to bring them into a larger company and be able to provide that financial wherewithal that later when it came time that people really did understand the necessity of retooling that we was there to take advantage of it. I think the thing I am most proud about is the fact that a lot of people thought, "Gosh, why are you doing that?" because historically some of these companies haven't done very well. But I think we proved them wrong.

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