BCE Announces New CEO and President

Fort Lauderdale, FL (June 12, 2023)—Baker Construction Enterprises (BCE), the largest commercial concrete construction contractor in the U.S., has named Karl H. Watson, Jr., as CEO and Dan T. Baker as president, effective June 12.

Watson succeeds Brad Wucherpfennig, who transitioned to the role of chairman of BCE’s Board of Advisors. Dan L. Baker, the immediate past chairman, has moved to the role of founder and board member.

“For more than 55 years, Baker has been the country’s strongest performing concrete construction subcontractor,” said Dan L. Baker. “In developing this transition plan, we were very strategic in selecting leaders who will stay true to our values and doing what’s right by our people and clients. These changes reinforce our strength and cement our position as the top family-owned business in the industry, now and for decades to come.”

Watson brings more than 35 years of experience in the global construction materials industry to the role. He most recently served as CEO for Forterra, Inc., and has held senior leadership positions at Summit Materials, Inc.; Martin Marietta, Inc.; CEMEX; S.A.B. de C.V.; and Rinker Group Ltd.

In addition, he has served as the past chairman of the National Ready Mix Concrete Association and the Florida Concrete and Products Association, and past vice chairman of the Portland Cement Association. He has also served on the executive committees of the National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association; Cement, Concrete & Aggregates Australia; and the American Concrete Pipe Association. He currently is the chairman of the Concrete Industry Management National Steering Committee. Watson joined BCE’s Board of Advisors in 2021.

“I’m honored to be stepping into the role of CEO,” said Watson. “During my time on BCE’s Board of Advisors, I came to admire Baker co-workers for their grit and ‘never say never’ attitude. I see tremendous opportunity in the markets we serve and in our ability to raise the bar in the industry.”

Dan T. Baker, the son of Dan L. Baker, has a long history with the company. He started working for Baker during his summers in high school and later served as an ironworker and then general manager for Titan Reinforcing. He joined BCE’s Board of Advisors in 2018 and was named executive vice chair in 2021. He will continue to hold that position going forward.

“This is an exciting time for our company, and not just because we are welcoming Karl into the fold,” said Dan T. Baker. “We have found a leader who is committed to the values, purpose, and mission that have made the Baker name synonymous with quality, excellence, and drive.”

Wucherpfennig’s transition to the Board of Advisors takes him back to his roots with BCE. Prior to being named president and CEO in 2010, he served as a board member for a decade. During his tenure, BCE expanded from 3,600 co-workers to nearly 7,000 and earnings grew more than 20% a year. BCE also expanded the number of companies under its umbrella, increasing its capabilities and footprint across the nation.

“I’m excited and grateful to continue serving BCE’s family of companies on the Board of Advisors,” said Wucherpfennig. “Karl brings tremendous knowledge and insight to the role that will benefit our co-workers, clients, and project partners. I’m very much looking forward to working with him.”

In his role as founder and board member, Dan L. Baker will continue to focus on mentoring new leaders and doubling down on the company’s growth strategies.

“I have dedicated my life to building our company, and I could not be prouder of what we have achieved or where we are going,” said Dan L. Baker. “Karl’s deep understanding of our industry, combined with his shared commitment to our core values, make him the ideal leader for BCE. Together, he and Dan T. will ensure that we continue to build better structures and better lives for our people and everyone who comes in contact with our company.”

About Baker Construction Enterprises

Baker Construction Enterprises, Inc. is the nation’s largest commercial concrete contractor, specializing in all types of cast-in-place concrete construction and related specialty solutions. BCE is the parent company to 11 diverse construction businesses totaling nearly 7,000 co-workers with a presence across the U.S. and the Bahamas. Combined, BCE companies have completed more than 14,000 projects in virtually every market segment, including airports, stadiums, high-rises, industrial facilities, power plants, and highways. BCE consistently ranks #1 in ENR’s top Concrete Specialty Contractor category.

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