AECOM, a leading global infrastructure firm, on June 15 announced the appointment of W. Troy Rudd to Chief Executive Officer. Currently AECOM’s Chief Financial Officer, Rudd will assume the role from Michael S. Burke, who previously announced his plans to retire. Rudd’s appointment marks the completion of AECOM’s CEO succession search process. The Company also announced the appointment of Lara Poloni, currently AECOM’s Chief Executive of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), to President of AECOM. Both appointments are effective October 1, 2020.
“Following a comprehensive six-month search process that considered internal and external candidates, the Board concluded that Troy is best suited to lead AECOM at this pivotal time. We enter this new chapter providing greater certainty to all our stakeholders that AECOM is moving decisively to sustain its solid momentum, driven by its ongoing transformation into a professional services business,” said Steven Kandarian, Lead Independent Director of AECOM’s Board of Directors. “We have full confidence in Troy to define the next, successful era for our organization. His leadership, as well as Lara’s, have contributed to our strong financial performance and the execution of key initiatives that resulted in substantially improved profitability and expanded margins, and transformed our balance sheet with record levels of liquidity.”
“I am honored to be appointed CEO and look forward to leading AECOM with support from Lara, our executive leadership team, and our Board, as our great company shapes the future of our industry,” said Rudd. “Our people have demonstrated dedication, perseverance and adaptability throughout our transformation and the uncertainties of this past year. This has only affirmed my belief that we have the talent, capabilities and reach to deliver exceptional service to our clients, build on our strong financial performance, and create value for all our stakeholders.”
“I am excited to work with Troy and our teams around the world as we continue leveraging AECOM’s exceptional expertise and innovative solutions to deliver on our clients’ most complex projects,” said Poloni. “Looking ahead, we remain focused on creating value for our shareholders as our global workforce increasingly becomes the premier trusted professional services partner to our clients.”
Since joining AECOM in 2009, Rudd has held key leadership roles, including operational and financial responsibility for AECOM’s Americas Design and Consulting Services business, as well as AECOM Capital, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, treasury, corporate controllership and financial reporting, risk and controls, and tax and shared services functions. Rudd has also led the expansion of the Company’s design center and shared services center practices. Throughout more than a decade of operational and financial leadership at AECOM, Rudd has played a critical role in the transformation and growth of the Company into an innovative, premier professional services firm and infrastructure industry leader.
Rudd’s leadership has been integral to the Company’s success, highlighted by its recent performance including the firm’s sixth-consecutive quarter of substantial margin improvement in its professional services business, continued double-digit adjusted EBITDA growth, a record $9 billion of wins in second quarter of fiscal 2020 and a new all-time high backlog level.
Poloni has held significant leadership positions across her 25-plus year tenure with AECOM, including Chief Executive of AECOM’s Australia and New Zealand operations from 2014 before moving into her current Chief Executive of EMEA role in October 2017. Poloni’s institutional knowledge of global infrastructure markets, deep experience across AECOM’s sectors, and commitment to inclusion, diversity and leadership development position her to excel in this role.
Burke commented, “I have been privileged to lead this incredible organization and proud to see the positive impact our teams have made in building a better company and a better world. Troy has been core to these achievements and I am confident that AECOM will continue to thrive under his leadership. With Lara, their combined tenure and deep familiarity with the Company’s strategic initiatives uniquely position them to lead the firm forward and realize long-term success.”
Kandarian continued, “Mike has made significant contributions throughout his fifteen years serving AECOM. Not only was he instrumental in AECOM’s growth and evolution from a private company to a leading public firm in our industry, but he has created a strong foundation on which the Company can continue to build, and will help support both Troy and Lara as they transition to their new roles. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank Mike for all he has done for AECOM, and the legacy he leaves.”
Separately, the Company has reaffirmed its full year financial guidance, including its expectation for 10% adjusted EBITDA growth at the mid-point of its $700 million to $740 million guidance range and free cash flow of between $100 million and $300 million.