On-Site Magazine

Aecon founder John Beck steps back from leadership position at company after 50 years

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January 10, 2020 by David Kennedy

John Beck (centre) on a panel at the annual conference of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships in Toronto last fall. PHOTO: CCPPP

TORONTO—Aecon Group Inc. founder John Beck has stepped away from the prominent Canadian contractor after more than 50 years in the industry.

The company said Jan. 10 Beck has given up his title of executive chairman effective immediately. Though he will remain Aecon’s non-executive chairman, the move ends the construction veteran’s formal employment with the company.

“Having spent five decades working in Canada’s construction industry and being a part of Aecon’s evolution, I firmly believe in the opportunities that lie ahead for Aecon and the value we bring to our communities, our clients, our employees and our shareholders,” Beck said in a release. “I am proud of what we’ve built together and have every confidence in Jean-Louis to take the baton and lead Aecon into its bright future.”

The company’s president and CEO, Jean-Louis Servranckx, will assume full executive responsibility at the contractor. Servranckx took over at Aecon in 2018 having spent 30 years in the industry, including at European-based construction giants Eiffage and Vinci.

“Since joining Aecon in 2018, I have benefited greatly from the experience, guidance and counsel that John and the board have provided me,” Servranckx said in a release. “John’s deep experience and commitment to the future of Aecon have been invaluable and I am honoured to be assuming full executive responsibility going forward.”

Aecon traces its roots to Beck’s family-run prefab concrete business in Montreal in the 1950s. It’s grown to help build some of Canada’s most iconic projects, including the CN Tower, the Vancouver Sky Train and the Toronto area’s Highway 407.

Looking ahead in an interview with On-Site at the annual conference of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships last November, Beck said the company is on excellent footing. “I don’t remember Aecon ever being in such a positive sort of environment [as] today, in terms of the work on-hand, in terms of the organization, in terms of the diversity of work that we do from the smallest contract to the multibillion-dollar ones.”

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