HOK promotes Bill Hellmuth to chief executive

Hellmuth is set to replace Patrick MacLeamy, who will remain as the firm’s chairman.

January 26, 2016 |
HOK promotes Bill Hellmuth to chief executive

Along with Parsons Brinckerhoff, HOK designed the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC), a facility that has won numerous architectural awards. Photo: Jay Stewart/Creative Commons.

HOK, the international architecture, engineering, and planning firm, will promote its President and 25-year company veteran Bill Hellmuth, AIA, to the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective April 19.

Hellmuth, who is the nephew of the firm’s founder George Hellmuth (its initials are an acronym for Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum), has been President since 2005. When he steps into the CEO post, he will replace Patrick MacLeamy, FAIA, LEED AP, who has served as HOK’s chief for 13 of the 49 years he’s been with the firm.

MacLeamy will remain as HOK’s chairman. During his HOK career, MacLeamy has overseen the establishment of several HOK regional offices in the U.S. and Asia. He has held leadership roles on several landmark HOK projects, including the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, Hellmuth identified HOK’s “sweet spot” as “the intersection of design excellence and thought leadership, combining design leadership with expertise in specific markets and building types around the world.”

HOK has 1,800 employees (it is 100% employee owned) in 24 offices worldwide. It has current projects in 75 countries.

Hellmuth has a total of 37 years experience in the architecture industry, including a stint with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. He joined HOK’s St. Louis office in 1991, and two years later was promoted to lead HOK’s Washington, D.C. office. He joined the firm’s executive committee in 2004.

A strong advocate for sustainable design, Hellmuth began integrating sustainability into every project before LEED certification became a benchmark. In 2014 he was named Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, and a GSA Design Excellence Peer.

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