Hill CEO David Richter leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After around two years on the job
  • Laud and praise for Richter
  • Paul Evans taking over in the interim
  • Richter spoke at length and said 77 words

(exechange) — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 03, 2017 — David Richter, chief executive of Hill, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Hill International, Inc. in a news release on Wednesday, May 03, 2017, David L. Richter leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the construction consulting firm in a surprising move after around two years on the job, effective immediately.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first years.

Richter’s move comes seven months after Craig L. Martin took over as chairman of Hill International, Inc.

Richter’s duties are taken over in the interim by Paul Evans, a former Chief Financial Officer at MYR Group.

Already a director

Evans is already a director of Hill. Often a board member is a last resort, someone who is turned to in desperation when a company can’t find other suitable candidates. On the other hand, directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Evans understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Hill’s organization, finances and strategy.

“The sale of the company’s Construction Claims Group is critical to the future of Hill.  It was extremely important for me and the company to see this transaction through”

A reason for the sudden change was not explicitly given. Richter said: “The sale of the company’s Construction Claims Group is critical to the future of Hill.  It was extremely important for me and the company to see this transaction through. This sale will significantly improve Hill’s financial position and create opportunities for growth that were not possible prior to the sale.”

Precise information about the future plans of Richter was not immediately available.

“Resigned”

Hill said: “David L. Richter has resigned as Chief Executive Officer of the company.”

Bulldog holds 6.51 percent stake

Bulldog Investors, LLC reported a 6.51 percent stake in Hill International, Inc. as of March 30, 2017. Bulldog is a hedge fund.

Chaired by Craig L. Martin

Hill International, Inc. is chaired by Craig L. Martin.

Martin has been Chairman of the Board of Directors since October 2016.

On the job as CEO since 2014

David L. Richter has been Hill’s Chief Executive Officer since December 31, 2014.

Prior to that Richter was President and Chief Operating Officer from 2004 to 2014.

Prior to that he was President of Hill’s Project Management Group from 2001 to 2004, Senior Vice President and General Counsel from 1999 to 2001, and Vice President and General Counsel from 1995 to 1999.

Richter has also been a member of Hill’s Board of Directors since 1998.

Prior to joining Hill, he was an attorney with the New York City law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP.

Richter is a Fellow of both the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, the Construction Industry Round Table and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trustees of Princeton Day School.

He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the CMAA and the Board of Trustees of the Southern New Jersey Development Council. He is also Chairman of the Oxford Alumni Society of Philadelphia.

Richter has been named to “40 Under 40” lists of distinguished young professionals by Business News New Jersey magazine (2002), the Philadelphia Business Journal (2005), and Building Design & Construction magazine (2006).

In 2003, he was selected as a prestigious David Rockefeller Fellow by the Partnership for New York City. In 2007, Richter received the Global Excellence Award from the Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects of New York.

In 2014, he was named by SNJ Business People magazine as one of its “Executives of the Year.”

Richter earned his B.S. in Management, his B.S.E. in Civil Engineering, and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

During law school, he was senior editor of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Business Law.

He also earned his M.Sc. in Major Program Management from the University of Oxford.

Richter has been admitted to practice law by the bars of New York, New Jersey, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and the U.S. Supreme Court.

He has also been designated a Chartered Construction Manager by the CIOB.

Richter initiated and led the effort to make Hill a public company in 2006 and more recently initiated and led the sale of Hill’s Construction Claims Group.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered David Richter’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 19.2017 ($).