Ben C. Maibach Jr., who joined Michigan contractor Barton Malow Co. as a laborer in 1938 and rose to become chairman of what, nearly 40 years later, is now a major U.S. building construction firm, died on Sept. 24 in Farmington Hills, Mich., at age 91.


He died of cancer, says a spokeswoman.

Maibach, who followed his carpenter-foreman father into the firm, was instrumental in creating its profit-sharing and pension plan in 1951 as a rising executive. It was a first for a U.S. contractor, says the firm.

Maibach became president in 1960 and retired as chairman in the early 1980s but was on the board until 2006. He also was president of the Associated General Contractors, Detroit chapter.

Barton Malow, now run by Maibach descendents, ranks at No. 38 on ENR's list of the Top 400 Contractors, with $1.1 billion in 2010 revenue.