Denise Johnson
Denise Johnson

Caterpillar Inc. has named the first woman executive to its C-suite, elevating Denise Johnson to group president of its mining-focused resources-industries segment, effective in April. She has been vice president of two divisions of the equipment giant since joining the Peoria, Ill., corporation in 2011.

Previously, she spent 22 years at General Motors in operations management roles in the U.S., Canada and Brazil.

Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman credited Johnson’s cost management of the equipment firm’s hard-hit mining units, which employ about 8,000 people on four continents, it says. He also termed the mechanical engineering graduate of Michigan State University and MIT “a strong role model to recruit more female engineers.”

Johnson will succeed Ed Rapp, 58, who last month announced that he would retire early because of illness.


London-based engineer-construction giant AMEC Foster Wheeler named Chief Financial Officer Ian McHoul interim CEO on Jan. 18, replacing Samir Brikho, who is resigning. The firm will seek a permanent CEO, since McHoul has said he does not want the job. He became CFO in late 2008 and has been key in current efforts to refinance the firm’s debt, reduce costs and sell low-growth businesses, says a company spokesman. Brikho was CEO for nine years and engineered the 2014 deal that linked engineer-constructors Amec and Foster Wheeler into what was then an $8.6-billion global giant. Like other energy-sector firms, Amec Foster Wheeler has suffered from tumbling global oil prices. Its share value fell by nearly 50% since November, when Brikho announced the dividend had been halved, its lowest level in five years. He also lowered the profit forecast, blaming reduced orders and increased pressure on bid prices, with “no sign of these trends changing.”


Parsons Corp., Pasadena, Calif., has announced a series of executive changes as part of a reorganization of operations into five business units: Middle East-Africa , industrial, infrastructure, construction and federal. W. Dean Harwood was named corporate executive vice president of operations, based in Charlotte, N.C. His former role was not identified. Donald D. “Don” Graul now is interim president of Parsons Transportation Group and remains president of the firm’s construction unit. Former development group executive  James R. “Jim” Shappell is named vice chairman and managing director of Saudi Arabian Parsons Ltd. and Saudi Arabia country manager. Gina L. Trombley now is group executive vice president of the federal unit. She was senior vice president and aviation division manager. Virginia L. Grebbien takes the newly created position of corporate chief of staff. She was president of Parsons Environment & Infrastructure. Patrick A. “Pat” Cassity is named infrastructure group executive vice president and Christian S. “Chris” Alexander is executive vice president and a division manager in the firm’s federal unit.

Richard J. Morsches was elevated to CEO of TranSystems Corp., a Kansas City transportation consultant. Formerly chief strategy and marketing officer, he succeeds Brian Larson, who now is executive chairman. The firm now has 900 employees. Morsches remains based in Chicago.

Paul W. Pocalyko has joined Philadelphia-based Hill International as senior vice president in its construction claims group. He is a former director of financial advisory services at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Enclos Corp., an Eagan, Minn., curtain-wall specialty contractor, has elevated Bruce Bornhurst to president. He replaces Gregg Sage, who is returning as president of Enclos’ parent. Bornhurst formerly managed Enclos’ West Coast sales and operations. Steve Danke also is named executive vice president of sales. Enclos, with 400 employees, specializes in custom facades and curtain-wall cladding systems.