Bechtel steps down as head of company

Riley Bechtel has stepped down as the president and CEO of construction firm Bechtel because of health reasons associated with Parkinson’s disease.

According to a source close to the matter, Bechtel was diagnosed with the disease in mid-December 2013 and is receiving treatment for early stage symptoms.

Bechtel, who will remain chairman of the company's board of directors, has been chairman & CEO of the company for nearly 25 years.

Bill Dudley, who has served as president and chief operating officer since 2008, has been named president and CEO of the Bechtel group of companies, which includes Bechtel Corporation and all of its subsidiaries globally.

Bechtel is responsible for construction of the three LNG projects on Gladstone's Curtis Island.

Bechtel said Dudley had been the company's top candidate for CEO succession for some time, and was well qualified to take over.

"He will be an outstanding CEO for our company. He is highly regarded by our colleagues, customers, partners, and suppliers. I have tremendous confidence in Bill's ability to continue to move the company forward," he said.

Dudley is the first non -family member to serve as president and CEO since the company's founding 116 years ago.

"Bechtel is a remarkable company, and I am honoured to be entrusted with this role,” Dudley said.

In other appointments, Jack Futcher,  president of the company's largest and most successful business unit – Oil, Gas, and Chemicals – has been named an executive vice president and sponsor of the Oil, Gas and Chemicals and Mining and Metals business units, as well as the regional organisations.

Brendan Bechtel, son of Riley Bechtel, succeeds Futcher as president of the Oil, Gas and Chemicals business.

Brendan was previously general manager of the company's liquefied natural gas business.  

While Alasdair Cathcart, a 25-year veteran of the company, will take over for Brendan as general manager of the LNG business.

"Words cannot fully describe the pride I feel for what the company has accomplished in the 24 years since I was privileged to become its CEO. I look forward to continuing to do my part to ensure that Bechtel is the premier engineer constructor on the planet and a great place to work,” Bechtel said.

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