|Earl “Duke” Austin|
In a move that appeared to happen faster than at least one Wall Street analyst predicted, Houston energy specialty contracting giant Quanta Services Inc. on March 14 said Chief Operating Officer Earl “Duke” Austin has succeeded James O’Neil as president and CEO. O’Neill, in the top roles for the past five years, also resigned from the firm’s board but will remain as an adviser for an undisclosed period. Austin was president of Quanta’s electric-power and oil-and-gas divisions as well as president of North Houston Pole Line L.P., a specialty contractor that Quanta acquired. “While Duke Austin was expected to be O’Neil’s successor, there was no indication O’Neil was retiring in the near term,” said Jamie Cook, construction-sector analyst for Credit Suisse in a March 14 note. But the firm said the succession “was contemplated for some time,” she noted. Quanta is the top-ranked firm on ENR’s list of the Top 600 Specialty Contractors, reporting $7.14 billion in 2014 revenue. The firm reported a revenue drop for 2015 in its latest results on Feb. 26, and its fourth-quarter earnings declined, driven by oil and gas pressures. But profit rose to $310.9 million for last year, up from $296.7 million in 2014. O’Neil said the firm expected “improved project execution and increasing mainline pipe activity to drive profitable growth” in 2016.
Charles D. Avolio has joined Boston-based Suffolk Construction as president of its New York City operations. He was vice president and general manager at Turner Construction. Suffolk says Avolio is a former co-chairman of the Building Trades Employers’ Association.
Hill International has elevated two executives. Senior Vice President James E. Koch now is in charge of the firm’s Kuwait and Bahrain operations, based in Kuwait City. He formerly led the firm’s joint venture that managed Iraq reconstruction on behalf of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Edward C. Newman III now is senior vice president and regional manager of Hill’s Washington, D.C.-based operations. Most recently, he was regional vice president.
CHA Consulting Inc. has hired Dean Angelakos as senior vice president and regional development leader, based in New York City. He joins the firm from a prior role as senior vice president at Parsons Corp., where he served as regional development executive.
|Robert D. Nichol|
Robert D. Nichol, 84, chairman and former president and CEO of maritime and ports engineer Moffatt & Nichol, Long Beach, Calif., died in Bodega, Calif., on March 7 after a long illness, the company said. Nichol led the firm’s sector growth since becoming, in 1975, its second president, until his retirement as CEO, in 2006. The company ranks at No. 87 on ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms list, with $135 million in 2014 revenue. Nichol earned several top honors from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Eric Nichol succeeded his father as president and CEO.
Henry “Hank” B. Hyatt, 96, chief electrical engineer of New York City design firm Hardesty & Hanover for more than three decades, died on Feb 27 in Ithaca, N.Y. The company says Hyatt “engineered more movable bridge electrical systems than almost anyone in the country, including bridges that set world records for size and load to lift.” These projects include the Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge over the Delaware River and the Burrard Bay Inlet Bridge in Vancouver. n