Canadian Consulting Engineer

Jacobs plans leadership succession

October 6, 2022

The changes will take effect in January 2023.

Jacobs leadership succession

Image courtesy Jacobs.

Jacobs’ current president and chief operating officer (COO), Bob Pragada, will soon succeed Steve Demetriou as CEO and join the consulting engineering firm’s board of directors, under the terms of a newly announced leadership succession plan.

The changes will take effect on Jan. 24, 2023, the date of the firm’s next annual shareholder meeting. Afterward, Demetriou—who has been CEO since 2015—will continue to serve as executive chair of the board for a minimum of two years, providing advice on strategic and capital deployment initiatives and executive sponsorship for key client engagements.

“It has been the highlight of my career to lead Jacobs over the past seven years,” he says. “With a strong foundation and clear trajectory in place, now is the right time to implement our succession plan. Bob Pragada has demonstrated leadership excellence and a strong track record of execution.”

“Steve was the architect of a visionary portfolio transformation that led to accelerated growth through the acquisition of CH2M, sale of our oil, chemicals and mining businesses and investment in PA Consulting,” says Chris Thompson, lead independent director of the board. “We look forward to continuing to benefit from his leadership and insights.”

Pragada joined Jacobs in 2006 and held several senior management positions over nine years. He returned to the firm in 2016 as president of its global industrial, buildings and infrastructure businesses and was appointed president and COO in 2019. He led the integration of CH2M and was instrumental in the investment in PA Consulting.

“It is an exciting time for Jacobs,” he says. “I am honoured to take on the role of CEO early next year and advance the work underway to further diversify our capabilities, increasing opportunities for our people, clients and shareholders.”


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