Sterling Construction has named as its permanent CEO, Paul J. Varello, who had been acting in the role since early February and has resigned as chairman. The firm, based in The Woodlands, said on March 9 that under Varello’s multi-year employment agreement, the one-time Fluor Corp. process sector president would receive an annual salary of $1 and 600,000 shares of restricted common stock. Varello, a Sterling board member since early 2014 and former chairman of oil-and-gas sector firm Commonwealth Engineering & Construction, replaces Peter MacKenna, who left the firm on Jan. 31 after two years as CEO. MacKenna had been executive vice president of Skanska USA Civil.

The shakeup comes as the firm reported on March 17 a loss of 54 cents per share for 2014. While a significant improvement from a $4.91 per-share loss for its 2013 results, which the firm attributes to problem project writedowns, analysts were expecting just a 5-cent-per-share loss for the year, according to Zack’s. Revenue for the year rose 20.8% to $672 million from $556 million, which exceeded estimates, says Zacks. “I look forward to leading Sterling through a business turnaround,” said Varello. "We have struggled to deliver consistent results over the past several years; however, Sterling is a business that has all of the elements necessary for success in the heavy civil construction industry." He anticipates revenue growth in 2015 “backed by robust backlog,” particularly in Texas infrastructure work. The firm expects lower fuel prices to save it more than $4 million this year.

Dale Swanberg has joined Granite Construction as vice president and deputy group manager for large projects, the California company said on March 30. He succeeds Rob Pierce, who has retired. Swanberg had been chief operating officer of Flatiron Construction since 2012, and also served as  heavy civil division president at The Walsh Group.

Sundt Construction Inc., Tempe, Ariz., has hired Thomas S. Case as senior vice president of its civil group. He had been senior vice president of operations services at Granite Construction. Case also is chairman of of the Associated General Contractors’ highway and transportation division.

Michael Carroll has been named president and CEO of Albany-based engineer CHA, formerly known as Clough Harbor & Associates. He had been executive vice president of AECOM. Carroll succeeds Raymond L. Rudolph, who becomes executive chairman. CHA ranks at No. 57 on ENR’s list of The Top 500 Design firms, with nearly $248 in 2013 revenue.

Chicago-based ESD (Environmental Systems Design Inc.), has promoted Zackery House to chief operating officer and executive vice president. He joined ESD in 2013 as practice leader in technology consulting engineering and previously was an information systems executive at Wall-Mart.