Amid Sex-Harass Claims, Architect Richard Meier ‘Steps Back’ From Firm
Richard Meier & Partners Architects, New York City, said Oct. 9 it has promoted Bernhard Karpf to managing principal.
A principal design partner at the 75-person firm who joined in 1988, he takes the new role as founder Richard Meier, 83, “will step back from day-to-day activities and support the leadership transition,” the company said.
Meier, who founded the firm in 1963, has been on a leave of absence since spring amid allegations by several female former employees and others of sexual misconduct and harassment, according to a New York Times report in March.
At the time, Meier apologized “to anyone who was offended by my behavior” but said his and the women’s “recollections may differ.” Meier, winner of architecture’s top Pritzker Prize and the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal, told the Times in September that he “had no plans to retire.” The firm did not announce a name change.
In an Oct. 12 Times opinion piece, Stella Lee, founding partner of architecture firm Bureau V and a former Meier employee alleging work-related misconduct, said the founder “will continue to profit from its operation and will stay the majority shareholder.”
Michael Palladino, a partner and principal designer who joined the firm in 1979, will continue to lead West Coast operations with Jim Crawford, a partner and senior technical coordinator, who joined it in 1988. The firm also elevated Vivian Lee, Reynolds Logan and Dukho Yeon to principal.
Keller Group plc, London, has elevated James Hind, group finance director, to succeed John Rubright as president of its North America division. The firm, a publicly traded global geotechnical contractor, says the division is its largest and generated half of the $2.6 billion in 2017 revenue. Keller also named Eric Drooff, president of Hayward Baker, Keller’s largest North American business, to an added role as division chief operating officer. Keller also hired Michael Speakman as corporate chief financial officer. He was CFO of Cape plc, a global industrial services provider.
The firm also announced on Oct. 11 a profit warning related to unanticipated market and project impacts in its Asia-Pacific unit. Keller expects a unit loss of $16 million to $20 million for 2018, changed from a previously projected profit. Company shares fell 33% on that news, but Keller said its overall results for 2018 “remain in line with the board’s expectations.”
Will Schulze has joined power-sector engineer-construction manager TRC, Lowell, Mass., as senior vice president, following its early October purchase of Ohio-based power distribution consultant IJUS, of which he was founder and president. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. IJUS has 320 employees based across the U.S.
Gregory Sauter, former AECOM executive vice president and chief corporate officer, has joined WGI, a West Palm Beach, Fla., transportation and utility design firm, as president.
In that role, he succeeds David Wantman, who remains CEO. Sauter also is a past president and chairman of Engineers Without Borders. He also was CEO of Crossroads Advisory, a leadership development consulting firm. WGI ranks at No. 250 on ENR’s list of the Top 500 Design Firms.