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Gilbane Chooses CH2M Exec as President; Buro Happold CEO Takes New Laing O'Rourke Role

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Gilbane Building Co. has chosen its first non-family member—who also is a company outsider—as its next president and chief operating officer, contractor Chairman and CEO Tom Gilbane confirmed on June 11.

McKelvy
Michael E. McKelvy, chief delivery officer at CH2M Hill Cos. in Denver and a 26-year veteran of the firm and a unit it acquired, will take the new roles at Gilbane Building on July 7. He will succeed Bill Gilbane Jr., who becomes vice chairman. Gilbane had been in his prior roles since 2004.

In his CH2M Hill role, McKelvy was responsible for profit-loss and delivery for global regions and served as director of corporate risk, safety, security, procurement, project controls, design and quality, according to Gilbane.

“Mike truly understands who we are as a company and is a perfect complement to our existing leadership team,” said Tom Gilbane in a statement. McKelvy will immediately assume companywide profit-and-loss responsibility, the contractor said.

McKelvy, who joined CH2M Hill in 2003 with its acquisition of South Carolina engineering firm Lockwood Greene, has held a number of high-level executive roles, including being president of its government, environment and infrastructure division as well as its industrial and manufacturing and life-sciences divisions.

He has degrees in architecture and environmental science.

Gilbane told ENR that McKelvy's management experience will aid Gilbane Building in its federal and international businesses. He says the firm now works in 15 countries.

Gilbane Building ranks at No. 14 on ENR's list of the Top 400 Contractors, with $4 billion in 2013 revenue. CH2M Hill ranks third on ENR's list of the Top 500 Design Firms, with $3.58 billion in engineering revenue and total 2013 revenue of about $6 billion.

"Mike brings unique abilities. We don't expect him to change the company but to complement what we have," says Gilbane. He says that includes design-build, "which is a growing part of our business."

He said fifth-generation Gilbane family members now run the company's businesses in Washington, D.C., New York and Texas.

Tom Gilbane said the firm's search for a new COO-president included internal candidates, "most of whom have been with us for 25 years."

CH2M Hill has named Executive Vice President Michael A. Szomjassy to succeed McKelvy, according to its website. Szomjassy had been global energy markets president, responsible for the firm’s oil, gas & chemicals and power business units. He remains in his role as corporate chief operational excellence officer.

Szomjassy joined CH2M Hill in 2007.

Westbury
Also, on June 9, Laing O'Rourke, the Dartford, U.K.-based contractor that oversaw building for the 2012 London Olympics, announced that Paul Westbury, 43, will depart as CEO of Bath, England-based global engineer Buro Happold for a position as the construction firm's group technical director for design and engineering services.

The change takes effect in the fall, the company said.

Westbury departs Buro Happold after 23 years, including three as CEO. He was the firm's youngest partner, at age 30.

Westbury's structural engineering work includes the Millennium Dome, which earned the MacRobert Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering. Queen Elizabeth made him a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2013.

Buro Happold has since named four-year firm partner Roger Nickells as CEO, effective June 25. He previously served the firm's Middle East managing director.

"Paul Westbury is leaving Buro Happold on a very solid footing," says a spokeswoman. "It is a good time to bring a different energy and leadership style to the organization to continue the journey to reclaim the value of engineering."

The firm will launch a new brand on June 30 that "will signal a shift in gear for the organization," she adds.

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