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HOK Names Hoisington and Klumpp Williams as Co-CEOs

Susan Klumpp Williams and Eli Hoisington
Susan Klumpp Williams and Eli Hoisington
ST. LOUIS, MO — HOK appoints Eli Hoisington, AIA, LEED AP, and Susan Klumpp Williams, AIA, LEED AP, as its new Co-Chief Executive Officers, succeeding Bill Hellmuth, FAIA, LEED AP, who passed away on April 6, shortly after his scheduled retirement.

Hoisington and Klumpp Williams, who have served as interim co-CEOs since Hellmuth went on medical leave in May 2022, bring a fresh yet familiar perspective to HOK’s leadership. They have previously led two of the firm’s largest offices and are long-standing executive committee members.

Hoisington, the Design Principal in St. Louis, and Klumpp Williams, the Managing Principal in Washington, D.C., have collaborated closely with Hellmuth in the past. They will work with HOK’s board to steer the firm’s design vision, business strategy, and operations.

Hellmuth’s legacy spans 32 years with HOK, having served as CEO since 2016 and Chairman since 2017. His tenure saw HOK win hundreds of design awards, strengthen its commitment to sustainable and regenerative design, open three new offices, diversify its leadership, and increase its pro-bono work and charitable giving. Under Hellmuth’s guidance, HOK consistently ranked among the world’s largest and greenest architecture/engineering firms.

Hoisington, 46, and Klumpp Williams, now in her 38th year with the firm, break new ground as the youngest and first woman CEOs in HOK’s 68-year history. They bring complementary skill sets and extensive experience to their new roles.

HOK President Carl Galioto, FAIA, LEED AP, praised the new Co-CEOs. “Combining Eli’s design expertise and Susan’s business acumen in this new Co-CEO leadership structure will drive HOK’s evolution as a more diverse, collaborative, and international design firm,” he said.

Hoisington expressed his commitment to enhancing HOK’s global presence as a preeminent, interdisciplinary design firm while building on Hellmuth’s legacy. “Design remains our core focus, shaping everything from project opportunities and business organization to innovation, research, education, mentorship, and community engagement," he said. "Above all, we will continue using design to improve lives, heal the planet, and contribute to the success of our clients.”

Klumpp Williams shared her experience working with Hellmuth. “Having collaborated with Bill in D.C. for 32 years, I understand how he maintained our founders’ vision for a diverse, design-focused practice," she said. "Eli and I will work in a similar manner, with him concentrating on design and me continuing my focus on operations.”

As the first woman CEO in HOK’s history, Klumpp Williams acknowledged the significance of her role. “This is an opportunity to underscore the power of diverse leadership," she said. "It also demonstrates HOK’s dedication to fostering diversity and inclusion across the firm. I’m eager to contribute to this ongoing transformation and further HOK’s commitment to ensuring that all our staff have equitable experiences in their career growth.”

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