Aecon picks CEO to replace Beck after takeover by Chinese firm blocked
July 24, 2018 by David Kennedy
TORONTO—Aecon Group Inc. is looking to chart a new course.
Two months after the Canadian government blocked the takeover of the firm by Beijing-based CCCC International Holding Ltd., Aecon has picked a new president and CEO to steer the company in a different direction.
The Toronto-based construction firm said July 23 that its board of directors has tapped Jean-Louis Servranckx for the role.
“The board is confident that Jean-Louis is the right leader to guide the company in its growth aspirations in a construction market rich with opportunities well suited to Aecon’s expertise and we are fortunate to have him join the team,” said Brian Tobin, the current chair of Aecon’s board.
Servranckx will replace John Beck, who stepped in as CEO after the departure of Terrance McKibbon in 2016. Beck will return to his former role as chairman of the company’s board, while Tobin will return to his position as lead director.
The appointment caps an eventful year for Aecon. Last August the company said it had engaged financial advisers to explore the sale of the company. In October, it announced CCCI had agreed to purchase the company for approximately $1.5 billion. The deal quickly ignited opposition from fellow Canadian construction companies and culminated in Ottawa’s decision to block the sale on national security grounds in May. After the high-profile deal fell through, Aecon said it is “no longer actively pursuing” a sale.
Servranckx has more than 30 years of experience in the industry. He got his start at French construction firm Spie Batignolles and has since held a range of management roles within Vinci SA and overseen large-scale projects in Europe, Africa and Canada. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of Eiffage Infrastructures.
“Having spent my entire career as a builder, I feel a natural fit with Aecon and its long and proud history,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to working with John Beck, the Board of Directors, and Aecon’s team to drive success through top-line growth, margin improvement, and further building on Aecon’s valued partnerships and client relationships.”
Servranckx will take over as president and CEO starting Sept. 4.