on January 21, 2014 - 2:35 PM
, updated January 22, 2014 at 9:38 AM
The Neumaier family’s fall from power at Ecology & Environment is complete.
Kevin Neumaier, the son of the company’s co-founder, was fired Tuesday as E&E’s president, five months to the day after he was stripped of his post as chief executive officer in a shake-up led by the company’s other co-founders that shattered the 43-year partnership that had guided the Lancaster environmental services firm.
Neumaier’s ouster was not a surprise. The company’s chairman, co-founder Frank Silvestro, has publicly blamed members of the Neumaier family, from the former chairman, the late Gerhard J. Neumaier, to his son, Kevin, and his nephew, Volcker Neumaier, for what he described as secretive and risky dealings in China that failed to pan out and led to the company taking a $7 million write-off last year. The Neumaier family also voted its shares against Silvestro’s eventual reappointment to E&E’s board of directors last week.
In Neumaier’s place as president, E&E named Gerard A. Gallagher III, a 33-year E&E veteran who was named a senior vice president in 2008 after spending most of his career in the company’s regional operations in the United States and abroad.
“Our markets are evolving quickly,” Gallagher said in a statement. “So must E&E. This is a period of profound change, and our efforts to align ourselves toward new markets and services are exciting.”
Gallagher, in comments to E&E’s shareholders during the company’s annual meeting last week, said the firm is focusing on projects that will provide a sustainable base of business.
Gallagher cited the work E&E is doing in New York to develop regional sustainability plans for certain upstate regions as the type of profitable projects that the firm can thrive with.
“These projects are right up our alley,” he said. “They’re big. They’re high- profile.”
Gallagher also cited work that the company is doing to help New York communities recover from natural disasters, such as flooding and Superstorm Sandy. “The idea here is to do it smart and with resilience, so these communities can take the punch better in the future,” he said.
He also cited the work that E&E has done on a master plan at Fort Hood to help the U.S. Army better manage the 4,000 buildings on the base. “More efficient use of those buildings saves the Army a huge amount of money,” he said, noting that E&E expects to receive a federal grant do to pilot testing at a couple of other bases.
E&E also named Fred J. McKosky, another senior vice president who has spent the past 35 years working at E&E, to the newly created post of chief operating officer. And it appointed Cheryl A. Karpowicz, E&E’s senior vice president of development, to the board of directors of its subsidiaries in Peru and Chile.