Heidrick & Struggles to Recruit CEO for Centuri

October 13, 2015 – Southwest Gas Corporation has selected Heidrick & Struggles to lead its search for the new president and chief executive officer of its construction services subsidiary Centuri Construction Group, Inc. James P. Kane has announced his plans to retire as president and CEO after a 43-year career in the utility and construction industries, including the last 31 years serving Southwest Gas Corporation.

Centuri Construction Group is a full-service natural gas piping contractor that provides trenching, installation, maintenance, and industrial construction solutions through a family of businesses that includes NPL Construction Co., Link-Line Contractors Ltd., W.S. Nicholls Construction Inc., and Brigadier Pipelines Inc. Centuri Construction Group is active in 22 major markets in the U.S. and Canada and serves a wide range of customers.

John Hester, president and CEO of Southwest Gas Corporation, said: “Today, Centuri Construction Group is one of the largest natural gas distribution contractors in North America with a strong platform, world class operations team, and attractive customer base. Centuri is well-positioned to take advantage of its tremendous growth opportunities as regulated utilities move forward with their long-term natural gas infrastructure projects.”

Heidrick’s global energy search practice includes a team of 29 consultants with expertise in three main categories: utilities, alternative & renewable energy, and oil & gas. Last month, the firm placed Bradley C. Jones as president and CEO of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), a corporation responsible for operating New York state’s bulk electricity grid.

While demand for energy continues to grow at unprecedented levels, new technologies and an oil glut have led to diminished hiring prospects throughout the industry, at least in the near term. Executive recruiters specializing in the sector report that as a result the energy industry has actually reduced the number of jobs available by over a million positions.

The energy industry has failed to adequately plan ahead for its human capital needs, said one recruiter who asked not to be identified. “The entire sector hasn’t been able to attract a new generation of talent that can adapt to the new technologies increasingly being put into the pipeline. I see that as energy’s biggest shortcoming.”

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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