- Fortune released its 25 Most Important Private Companies 2016 list Wednesday and ranked California-based construction giant Bechtel at No. 7.
- Fortune noted that the 109-year-old company takes in annual revenue of $40 billion and has built such "epic" projects as the Hoover Dam and the Trans-Arabian Pipeline.
- Fortune editor-at-large Shawn Tully said that Bechtel has "arguably changed the face of the physical world more than any other company, anywhere."
Forbes said it determined its list of the most important U.S. private companies by examining "their prodigious revenues or assets, their social currency, their deep connection to our daily lives, and (particularly for the newer and smaller companies), their disruptive impact."
In Forbes' latest ranking of billionaires from all over the world, both Stephen Bechtel, Jr. and his son Riley Bechtel tied at No. 638, each with $2.7 billion. Stephen and Riley Bechtel both served as company CEOs before their retirements, and Riley's son Brendan now serves as president and COO. Both Stephen and Riley own 20% of the nation's largest engineering and construction company.
Brendan Bechtel penned an op-ed piece late last year in USA Today strongly urging federal and state leaders and lawmakers to make America's deteriorating infrastructure a priority issue so that generations to come do not "inherit a crumbling, unsafe, environmentally unfriendly, productivity-choking system several generations old." One of the most efficient ways to achieve the work that needs to be done, he wrote, would be through the use of public-private partnerships (P3s) to help finance, design, build and maintain public works projects around the country.
Last month, Bechtel began work as part of a P3 on the first phase of the 8-mile Edmonton Valley Line light rail transit project in Alberta, Canada. The project is the first venture for the company under its new P3 business unit and the first P3 in Edmonton.