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Mallory steps down as CEO of Michael Baker at board's request

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Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, 4:58 p.m.
 

Michael Baker Corp. said on Thursday that CEO Bradley L. Mallory, a former PennDOT secretary who led the engineering, planning and construction services company for four years, stepped down at the board of directors' request.

Mallory had worked for the company since 2003 and became its chief executive in 2008.

“The board determined a need to proceed in a different direction,” said David Higie, spokesman for the company based in Moon, in response to a request for comment.

Two other executives were chosen to lead the company on an interim basis. Mallory couldn't be reached for comment.

Michael J. Zugay, chief financial officer, and H. James McKnight, chief legal officer, were named to the new Office of the Chief Executive, and will be aided by other senior executives. Dr. Robert N. Bontempo, lead independent director, will provide oversight, the company said.

The board said in its announcement that an executive search firm will be hired to conduct a national search for a successor to lead the company, which has more than 3,000 employees in more than 100 offices nationwide.

Mallory's compensation totaled $950,000 in 2011, down from $1.1 million a year earlier, according to securities filings. Baker's stock closed at $19.11, up 8 cents. Shares closed at $26.43 as recently as July 3, and traded at over $40 a share in 2008.

The CEO's departure occurs a little over month after the company announced a performance improvement plan to cut costs by $18 million to $20 million in 2013. Higie said Thursday the company will “proceed with executing” on the plan.

Baker on Nov. 8 reported a third-quarter profit of $700,000, or 7 cents a share, on contract revenues of $145.2 million. In the prior third quarter, net income was $7.1 million, or 76 cents a share, on revenues of $131.1 million.

The revenue increase came primarily from the addition of $23.1 million from RBF Consulting, a California engineering and planning company acquired a year ago. The company blamed the profit drop on lower utilization, an “unfavorable project mix” and higher acquisition-related expenses.

Four years ago, Mallory stepped in to replace Baker's interim CEO and longtime chairman, Richard Shaw. Shaw had assumed the chief executive's title for the fourth time after the abrupt 2006 resignation of Dan Fusilli.

Two years ago, Mallory said he wanted Baker's annual revenue to be in the $1.2 billion range by 2014 and for the company to be among the country's 20 largest engineering design and construction management companies.

Kim Leonard is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5606 or kleonard@tribweb.com.

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