Dudley, who has served as chief operating officer and president of Bechtel since 2008, will succeed Riley Bechtel who will remain as chairman despite his decision to step down as group CEO due to health concerns.
“We are well prepared to act quickly in everybody’s best interest with no loss of momentum,” Bechtel said.
“Bill has been our top candidate for CEO succession for some time and he is well qualified in every respect to take over now.
“He will be an outstanding CEO for our company – he is highly regarded by our colleagues, customers, partners and suppliers.
“I have tremendous confidence in Bill’s ability to continue to move the company forward.”
Dudley joined Bechtel in 1981, becoming president of the company’s Europe, Africa, Middle East, and southwest Asia region and president of the oil, gas and chemicals business unit before getting elected to the board in 2000.
“I look forward to furthering the successful path for Bechtel that Riley began more than 24 years ago as CEO, building on the foundation started by his great-grandfather in 1898,” Dudley said.
“Bechtel is a remarkable company and I am honoured to be entrusted with this role.”
In other moves, the company’s oil, gas and chemicals division president Jack Futcher will become the executive vice president and sponsor of the division, as well as sponsor of the company’s mining and metals business unit.
“As executive sponsor, Futcher will provide additional oversight of and support to these businesses, which have similar global characteristics,” the engineering giant said.
Brendan Bechtel, son of Riley, will take over from Futcher as president of the oil, gas and chemicals business.
The younger Bechtel was previously the general manager of the lucrative LNG business, with company veteran Alasdair Cathcart appointed to take over this role.
“I am delighted to announce these immediate promotions for Bill, Jack, Brendan, and Alasdair,” Riley Bechtel said.
“They are all very well deserved and each of these leaders embodies the necessary qualities to propel the company forward.
“Words cannot fully describe the pride I feel for what the company has accomplished in the 24 years since I was privileged to become its CEO.
“I look forward to continuing to do my part to ensure that Bechtel is the premier engineer constructor on the planet and a great place to work.”
Bechtel is building all three of the underway Curtis Island-based LNG projects in Queensland and is subsequently responsible for “more than half of the world’s LNG capacity under construction”.