- Katerra announced leadership changes this week, including a new chief financial officer and a director of the board. CFO Matthew Marsh comes to the Menlo Park, California-based modular construction firm with an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and “more than two decades of international financial management,” including stints at General Electric Co. and building materials company James Hardie.
- Lisa Picard, the firm’s new director of the board, has earned two master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has held executive roles at Skanska and real estate development firms such as EQ Office, where serves as president and CEO, overseeing a 20-million-square-foot portfolio of assets for Blackstone Group.
- Katerra also announced a “head of affordable housing,” a new role held by Mollie Fadule, co-founder and partner of Cephas Partners, a private equity firm focused on real estate.
Katerra is growing substantially, with its workforce doubling from around 4,000 at this time last year to more than 8,500 employees around the globe today.
Katerra was Construction Dive’s Dealmaker of the Year in 2018. Though its acquisitive streak slowed this year, the firm is still growing inorganically through M&A. Earlier this month, the firm announced it had acquired two firms, UEB Builders and Fortune-Johnson General Contractors, to expand throughout the U.S.
The technology-driven modular builder has also just opened its first mass timber factory in Spokane Valley, Washington, with a grand opening for the 29-acre, 270,000-square-foot facility scheduled this week. It will initially produce cross-laminated timber structural systems, with plans to produce additional timber products in the future.
Marsh told Construction Dive that during his first 90 days, he plans to visit customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers and partners to understand their perspective on Katerra’s business model and to find ways to drive differentiation and value.
He also said he’ll focus on financial planning and analysis (FP&A), with technology that can streamline data at the forefront of his strategy.
“The FP&A capability of a company needs to be strong and is required to drive sustainable business value. The FP&A function needs to drive automation and technology solutions to routine work — such as budgeting, planning, and reporting — to augment data with related business insights,” Marsh said. “This approach frees up resources that can support and lead more valuable work by providing insights on every aspect of the company from customers and market demand, to manufacturing and product strategies.”
The firm has been shuffling around other executives as well, having named Paal Kibsgaard its chief operating officer in August. Kibsgaard handles Katerra’s U.S. operations, including architecture, engineering, manufacturing and construction, and will be responsible for expanding the company’s footprint beyond its presence in the U.S., the Middle East and India as well. He also oversees the development of new construction technologies for the firm.