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Jacobs appoints Bob Pragada as chief executive officer

Jacobs has appointed Bob Pragada as chief executive officer with immediate effect (24 January). He is also expected to join the company's board of directors upon certification of the results of its annual meeting today.

Pragada brings more than 30 years of global business leadership and military experience to Jacobs, including 17 years with the company and nine years as a Civil Engineer Corps and Seabees Officer with the US Navy. 

Having served as a facilities director at Camp David during the Clinton administration, Pragada is the second Indian American to graduate from the United States Naval Academy and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. 

Subsequently, he is the first Indian American, veteran and person of colour appointed as CEO of Jacobs.

"It is an exciting time for Jacobs," said Pragada. "Concentrating our strategy accelerators around climate response, data solutions, and consulting and advisory services, we’re anticipating the global trends most important to our clients to develop differentiated, data-enabled solutions that meet their needs. 

“I am honored to take on the role of CEO and advance the compelling work underway to further diversify our capabilities and offerings, increasing opportunities and value for our people, our clients and our shareholders alike."

As CEO, Pragada remains focused on continuing Jacobs’ efforts to align its portfolio to attractive, high-growth sectors – specifically in the areas of water infrastructure, environmental resiliency, energy transition, EV, life sciences and semiconductor manufacturing – leveraging the company’s deep domain experience and unique capabilities to create a more connected, sustainable world.

Pragada joined Jacobs in 2006, holding several senior management positions over eight years, including senior vice-president, global sales; group vice-president, northern region (United States and the Republic of Ireland); and vice-president, field services. 

He returned to Jacobs in 2016 as president of the global Industrial and Buildings & Infrastructure lines of business and led the successful integration of CH2M, a $5bn diversified technical services leader in infrastructure, water, environmental and nuclear sectors. 

He was also instrumental in Jacobs' strategic majority investment in PA Consulting, a multi-billion-dollar world-leading digital consulting firm, where he now serves as a board member.

In 2019, Pragada was appointed president and COO of Jacobs, providing executive oversight of all global operations, driving impressive profitable growth across the company's Critical Mission Solutions and People & Places Solutions lines of business. 

He has been instrumental in developing and leading the successful execution of Jacobs' strategy, as well as driving global integrated delivery of Jacobs' operations around the world as a differentiator in the industry.

Pragada is a graduate of Stanford University, where he earned a Master of Science in engineering and management. He serves as a trusted advisor to Eaton (director), Brightstar Capital (advisory council member), the Dallas Mavericks Foundation (advisory council member), the US Naval Academy Foundation (director), and, most recently, he was appointed as the 2022 chair of the Dallas Regional Chamber.

If you would like to contact Rob O’Connor about this, or any other story, please email roconnor@infrastructure-intelligence.com.