Riley P. Bechtel is chairman of the board and a director of Bechtel Group, Inc.
Riley Bechtel, Chairman of the Board
Mr. Bechtel joined the company in 1966, working summers in various field construction and other jobs while attending school. After receiving a combined JD and MBA degree from Stanford University’s School of Law and Graduate School of Business, he joined the law firm of Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges, where he worked on matters for Bechtel and other clients.
Rejoining Bechtel in 1981, he became contract coordinator and then piping superintendent at the Belle River Power Plant in Michigan.
Two years later, he served as area superintendent at the Badak LNG Plant in Indonesia, with full responsibility for all construction activity in one of the two process areas of the plant.
During 1984, he worked as general field superintendent on the New Zealand Gas-to-Gasoline project, directing and organizing field construction activities, including operations, safety, and procurement.
In early 1985, Mr. Bechtel moved to London, where he served as a business development representative, pursuing projects in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and Africa. He became assistant manager of operations for the London Division in late 1985 and division technical manager in early 1986. Later that year, he was named managing director of Bechtel Limited.
He was named a director of Bechtel Group, Inc. in August 1987 and executive vice president three months later.
In March 1989, he was elected president and chief operating officer of Bechtel Group, Inc. He became president and chief executive officer in June 1990, and chairman and chief executive officer in January 1996. In February 2014, Mr. Bechtel stepped down as Bechtel’s chief executive officer and continues to serve as chairman of its board. Bill Dudley succeeded him as CEO.
Mr. Bechtel received a bachelor's degree in political science and psychology from the University of California at Davis. He was admitted to the California State Bar in November 1979, and is a member of the American and California Bar Associations (Inactive).
Mr. Bechtel is a director of Fremont Investors, Inc. and a member of Fremont Group’s Board of Advisors. He is a member of the Conservation Fund's Corporate Council, Indian School of Business Governing Board, National Petroleum Council, Ocean Exploration Trust Board of Directors, Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council, Theranos, Inc. Board of Directors, UC Davis Board of Visitors, and The Thacher School Board of Trustees. He is a graduate member of The Business Council.
Academies and professional societies
Mr. Bechtel is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and an Honorary Lifetime member of the American Society of Safety Engineers.
He is an associate member of the American Society of Corporate Executives.
Download Bechtel's bio (PDF).