Spinoff of Hertz Equipment Unit Faces Delay as CEO Is Asked To Stay With Parent
Hertz Global Holdings Inc. has named as its interim CEO, Brian P. MacDonald, who now is chief of the rental company’s construction-equipment unit. He replaces Mark Frissora who it said resigned on Sept. 8 for “personal reasons.”
The company had announced earlier this year that it would spin off Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. into a separate $2.5-billion public company by early 2015. However, accounting errors—acknowledged but not disclosed in detail by the company—that have held up reporting of its 2014 results “could definitely delay the spin-off,” says Nicholas Coppola, a senior equity analyst with Thompson Research Group.
The divestiture was set to include 355 branches and 250 employees. The equipment rental division last year recorded $1.54 billion in revenue, an 11% annual increase amid stronger pricing and greater rental and sales activity of small to medium-sized construction machines and tools in North America, Europe, China and Saudi Arabia. But says Coppola, “Hertz was starving the equipment rental business through a lack of investment. This divestiture provides more focus as a stand-alone entity.”
Frissora’s departure came in the wake of shareholder pressure—from activist investor Carl Icahn, among others—over the undisclosed accounting errors. Frissora had served as Hertz CEO since 2006. Hertz Global Holdings recently avoided a potential proxy battle with Icahn, who has acquired an 8.48% company stake, by allowing two of his hand-selected board members to be part of the CEO search committee. MacDonald has been rumored as a candidate to lead the parent firm permanently.
Holland-based design firm ARCADIS has named Erik Blokhuis as CEO of its Continental European operations, effective on Jan. 1. A 16-year company veteran, he has led its European buildings business since the beginning of 2014.
The Society of American Military Engineers, Alexandria, Va., has named Brig. Gen. (ret.) Joseph “Joe” Schroedel, as its new executive director. Most recently, he was a project manager for water infrastructure at Parsons Brinckerhoff. Schroedel also managed the design-build construction of the $18-billion Medupi power plant in South Africa. A 34-year Army veteran, he also was a Corps of Engineers division commander. Schroedel succeeds Robert D. “Bob” Wolff, who has retired.
Bird Construction Inc., Toronto, has elevated Ian Boyd to president and CEO, effective on Jan. 1, when he succeeds Tim Talbott, who is set to retire on Dec. 31. Boyd, who joined the firm in 2008 with its acquisition of Rideau Construction, has been executive vice president and chief operating officer since 2013. Talbott has been in his roles since 2010.
In March, the publicly-held firm (BDT:TSE), reported $1.2 billion in 2013 revenue, down from $1.3 billion the previous year. Talbott cited "execution issues" on an unidentified fixed price project, lower returns in its industrial sector and completion of several contracts as factors in its "disappointing results." He added however, that "with a record backlog and the troubled project behind us, we are looking forward to improving results as we move through 2014."
Maxim Sytchev, sector analyst for Toronto-based Dundee Securities, said last month that the firm's second half 2014 results were "shaping up nicely as backlog is near record levels and project execution hiccups seem to be largely behind [the firm]… at this point."
John Boulé has joined Dewberry as senior vice president and manager of the firm’s New York City office. He had been vice president and resiliency director for Parsons Brinckerhoff, where he coordinated with local, state and federal clients on the planning and engineering of large-scale resilience projects. Boulé, a retired U.S. Army colonel, also served as commander of the New York District of the Corps of Engineers and is a director of the Society of American Military Engineers.
The European Construction Institute, a U.K.-based group of owners, contractors, professional service firms, suppliers and others focused on improving construction practices across Europe, has named Taco de Haan as chairman. He
is president of the Fluor Corp. energy-and-chemicals business unit in its Europe, Africa and Middle-East region.
David M. Owens has joined architect Perkins Eastman as a design principal, based in Boston.He had been in a similar role at Tsoi/Kobus & Associates, which he joined at its founding.
Carl Baldassarra has joined Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE), Northbrook, Ill., as principal and manager of the firm's fire protection practice. He previously served as executive vice president of Chicago-based Rolf Jensen & Associates Inc., where he managed the firm’s western region and practice development. Baldassarra is president of the Society of Protection Engineers and a Fellow of that group.
Design firm HOK has hired Robert Cull as senior vice president and managing principal in Los Angeles. Since 2008, he had served as director of planning and design for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a Los Angeles non-profit, 958-bed hospital.
Charles W. Stark has been named executive director of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, overseeing construction of the 11.4-mile Phase 2 extension of the Metro Silver Line from Reston, Va., to Ashburn, Loudoun County, Va. Previously vice president and project executive at design firm AECOM, he also was assistant general manager of San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit system and executive officer for engineering and construction at the Los Angeles MTA. Stark succeeds Pat Nowakowski, who resigned earlier this year to become president of the Long Island Railroad in New York.
Javier Rodriguez has been elected 2015 president of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, beginning his term on Jan. 1. He currently is executive director of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, serving in that role since 2007. The association is the worldwide group of owners and operators of toll facilities and the businesses that serve them.