As Fluor Corp.’s financial results continue to be a corporate and overseer focus, the publicly traded contractor said July 24 it has elevated veteran executive Joe Brennan to be chief financial officer.
At the firm since 1991, he was senior vice president and served as operations controller since June. Brennan replaces Michael Steuert, who returned to Fluor last year from seven years of retirement and will remain as a senior adviser through year’s end. Brennan also was segment controller in Fluor’s energy and chemicals unit and former general manager of its Southern California operations.
Fluor disclosed this year still ongoing probes by the U.S. Justice Dept. and the Securities and Exchange Commission of charges in 2019 for fixed-price federal projects. Those probes have delayed year-end and 2020 quarterly results filings.
Executive Chairman Alan Boeckmann said in a February results call that the firm did not believe that there are “material errors," which it said has been the intent of its internal investigation.
“We believe Steuert thought Fluor was a quicker fix,” said Jamie Cook, Credit Suisse managing director and industry-sector stock analyst, in a July 24 research note. She adds that the pandemic may have complicated the firm’s usual move to name an external candidate as CFO.
Fluor CEO Carlos Hernandez said "while there are no assurances as to our timing, the firm expects to file its 2019 10-K financial update by Sept. 30.
The firm announced on July 23 the award of a front-end engineering and design contract for a California Resources Corp. carbon capture and sequestration project at the 550-MW Elk Hills natural gas power plant in the state. That follows the award in May of a FEED contract for Project Tundra at the Milton R. Young coal-fired plant in North Dakota, set to be the world’s largest carbon-capture facility. Both will use Fluor’s proprietary technology and are funded by the U.S. Energy Dept. Contract amounts were not disclosed.
Analysts remain concerned about impacts on Fluor results from stressed oil and gas markets and possible virus-linked work stoppages.
Bechtel Corp. said July 30 that it has elevated Craig Albert, who has led its Infrastructure business unit since 2016, to be corporate president and chief operating officer, effective Sept. 8. He succeeds Jack Futcher, who becomes vice chairman until the end of 2020 and then will retire from the contractor. Futcher will become a non-executive director on the company’s board. Albert joined Bechtel in 1998 and has had a major role in managing power, waste treatment, and LNG projects in the U.S. and Australia and in business unit restructuring, the company said. He is based in Reston, Va.
Shaun Kenny will succeed Albert as infrastructure unit president, based in London. Most recently, he led the consortium, including Bechtel, in construction of the Riyadh Metro in Saudi Arabia. He is based in London. Also as of Sept. 8, Paul Marsden becomes president of its oil, gas and chemicals business, while Ailie MacAdam will be president of Bechtel’s mining and metals unit, effective Nov. 1. They succeed Alasdair Cathcart and Paige Wilson, respectively. Marsden is senior vice president and MacAdam is infrastructure unit operations manager.
Denise Turner Roth, WSP USA chief development officer since 2018, has been named president of the firm's U.S. advisory services group. She replaces John Porcari, who the firm says "has accepted a prominent leadership role outside WSP in support of U.S. national policy." He remains a senior advisor in the group, the firm said.
WSP did not offer further detail on Porcari's outside position and he declined to confirm to ENR industry speculation that it could involve an infrastructure-related role with the campaign of Democratic presidenitial candidate Joe Biden. Porcari said his new WSP role is part-time, but he would remain involved on projects that include upgrade of the Moynihan train station in Manhattan, the Gateway rail program in New York and New Jersey and the California High Speed Rail project.
While at WSP, he also had a role from 2016 to early 2019 as interim executive director of Gateway Development Corp., which oversees that planned multi-billion upgrade of Northeast Corridor rail infrastructure in the two states.
Porcari formerly served in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2013, when Biden was vice president, as deputy transportation secretary. He also "provided input" to the 2020 campaign of former Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg on his infrastructure funding plan presented in February, according to CNBC. Porcari also is a former two-time head of Maryland's Dept. of Transportation
Roth, who previously worked in the WSP advisory group in 2017 as a senior advisor, also is a former head of the U.S. General Services Administration and city manager of Greensboro, N.C.
Cornell University has elevated Lynden A. Archer to dean of its School of Engineering. An engineering faculty member since 2000, he also has directed the Cornell Energy Systems Institute since 2017 and will continue in the role until a new director is selected. Archer's research has led to creation of a technology firm that is commercializing electrolytes for safe lithium batteries, said Cornell. Provost Michael Kotlikoff. said he “has made many tremendous contributions … through his work in energy storage and carbon-capture technology.”
Wendy Cohen has been elevated to president of Kitchell CEM, one of five operating companies of construction management firm Kitchell Corp. She succeeds Russ Fox, who retires at year’s end. Based in San Diego, Cohen joined the firm in 2013 from a previous role as director of facilities planning and construction at Palomar Health. Kitchell ranks No. 177 on ENR’s Top 400 Contractors list, with $543 million in 2019 revenue.
STO Building Group, New York City, has elevated Brian Lynch to senior vice president of finance operations and named Dan Clark to succeed him as chief financial officer of its Structure Tone LLC unit. Clark was vice president of finance and regional CFO at AECOM.
M&J Engineering, New Hyde Park, N.Y., has named retired Maj. Gen. Robert D. Carlson as vice president and branch manager, based in Arlington, Va.
He had been senior military adviser to the U.S. Army assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs. Carlson previously was commanding general of both the Army Corps of Engineers’ Transatlantic Division and the 372nd Engineering Brigade, the largest unit in the U.S. Army Reserve. He also was chief of staff for the Afghanistan Mission Directorate in Kabul.
Contractor J. Fletcher Creamer & Son Inc., Hackensack, N.J., has elevated President Joseph “Joe” Walsh to the role of CEO. He succeeds J. Fletcher Creamer Jr., who has been in the role since 2006 and will retire in September. Vice President Martin “Marty” Downs Jr. becomes president. Creamer was acquired by APi Group Inc. in 2016 but continues to operate as an independent brand, it says. The firm ranks at No. 199 on ENR’s Top 400 Contractors list, with about $487 million in 2019 revenue.
Hill International, Philadelphia, has named Drew Jeter president of its Americas region, succeeding Michael V. Griffin, who will retire. Jeter had been vice president of program management at Jacobs.