WSP CEO Succession Awaits New Outside CFO; Senate Surprises with Quick Corps Chief Confirmation
Rogers Group Inc., a Nashville aggregates producer and road contractor, has elevated Darin Matson to president and CEO. He was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the firm, which says it has $750 million in revenue and 1,800 employees, according to the Nashville Business Journal. He succeeds Gerard V. Geraghty, who retired. Matson is a board member of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association.
A spokeswoman for Montreal-based design firm WSP Global Inc. on April 22 told ENR it expects to announce a new chief financial officer “ASAP” to enable current CFO Alexandre L’Heureux to become company CEO, replacing Pierre Shoiry. Under that planned succession, announced in March, Shoiry, a 21-year company veteran, will become vice chairman. One analyst said the choice of L’Heureux as CEO signals that WSP, which acquired U.S. transportation giant Parsons Brinckerhoff in 2014, will “remain an active industry consolidator.” Paul Dollin will stay on as its London-based chief operating officer. According to industry sources, John Murphy, president of WSP European operations and PB’s former CFO, declined the position. Publicly traded WSP last month reported about $948 million in net revenue for its 2015 fourth quarter, up 45% from the previous year, with net profit of $98 million, exceeding analysts’ predictions.
The U.S. Senate on April 20 confirmed Major General Todd T. Semonite as U.S. Army chief of engineers and commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, with elevation to lieutenant general, according to military communication. Because of strained pre-election relations between the Obama administration and Congress, many in the industry, including Semonite, did not expect confirmation before the May retirement of his predecessor, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick. But former Corps chief Robert Flowers cites Semonite’s 13-month deployment to lead the Combined Security Transition Command in Afghanistan after the 2014 killing of its deputy commander, Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, by an Afghan soldier “as a key issue in convincing Congress to move quickly on the nomination.” Adds Flowers, now a senior advisor to consultant Dawson & Associates, Semonite “volunteered for the Afghan command and, by all accounts, did a tremendously impressive job.” In March, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz). said that, if confirmed, Semonite had committed to “prioritizing” completion of the Rio de Flag Flood Control project in Flagstaff.
Al Hannum has been elevated to CEO of the environmental consulting business at AECOM, the Los Angeles-based design-build firm said on April 20. He was the unit’s deputy CEO and director of operations since 2014, when he joined from a previous role as a CH2M senior vice president and global managing director. Hannum, based in Philadelphia, replaces Matthew Sutton, who left the firm in March to become president of CH2M’s environment and nuclear business group. AECOM on April 20 also
Rosendin Electric, an employee-owned electrical contractor in San Jose, Calif., has promoted Matthew Englert to senior vice president, replacing Willie Micene, who retires at year’s end. Englert joined the firm in 2000. The company also named Angela Hart to the newly created position of director of operations.
Frederick “Fritz” Steiner, dean of the University of Texas-Austin School of Architecture, will become dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design on July 1, succeeding Marilyn Jordan Taylor, who has led the school since 2008. Among the factors in his decision to leave the post he has held since 2001, Steiner cited a new state law that soon will allow those over 21 to carry concealed licensed handguns onto all state campuses, says Architectural Record, ENR’s sister publication. Steiner started new degree programs in landscape architecture and interior design at the Texas school and boosted its endowment by more than 70%. But “state appropriations for the UT system and all public universities in Texas have eroded significantly over the past 40 years,” he told AR. “This unfortunate trend of declining state support for public higher education is not unique to Texas. It’s happening across the country.”
Halff Associates Inc., a Richardson, Texas, engineer-architect, has named as executive vice president and chief strategy officer Russell Zapalac, former chief planning and project officer of the Texas Dept. of Transportation, effective in May. He also is a former HDR senior vice president and transportation director and current board member of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.