Company: AECOM, New York, NY
Company Description: AECOM (NYSE: ACM) is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental and energy. AECOM has 43,000-plus employees who serve clients in more than 100 countries, and had revenue of $5.2 billion during fiscal year 2008.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications Department of the Year
Nomination Title: AECOM Technology Corporation – Corporate Communications
Tell the story about what this nominated department achieved since January 1 2008 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
As the communications organization of a $5.6-billion professional-technical and
management-support services firm with operations in more than 100 countries,
AECOM Corporate Communications has ultimate responsibility for telling the
company story to internal and external audiences – and for making sure the rest
of the company is telling the same story as well.
2008 was a particularly challenging year for the 12-member team, which faced
the perfect storm of having to communicate the company’s three 2008
acquisitions, including Earth Tech, a 7,000-employee firm from Tyco
International Ltd. (AECOM’s largest acquisition ever) and then, concurrently,
spearhead communication efforts around the global, internal reorganization and
integration of Earth Tech and AECOM’s 22 other operating companies into one
Throughout the year, AECOM needed to effectively introduce a strongly unified
corporate identity while addressing the myriad communication and general
business needs of the affected individual operating companies. These
responsibilities were made more crucial in light of the fear among leaders that
these changes could lead to mass employee defections to competitors during this
period of change and stock market volatility.
The team began its efforts in February with the announcement that AECOM would
acquire three firms – including Earth Tech, which also would see some of its
pieces divested before (in coordination with Tyco), concurrently or shortly
after the closing. The team then met with key stakeholders and drafted a 515-
line Earth Tech communications project plan that was posted in “war rooms” in
its Los Angeles headquarters and New York offices. Key tactics during the run-
up to the acquisition’s closing included companywide employee FAQ docs and CEO
letters, talking points for managers to deliver in-person to their direct
reports, and a hybrid video-PowerPoint presentation as well as a welcome packet
for Earth Tech employees.
As the Earth Tech communication plan was being finalized and carried out, the
team learned that all AECOM operating companies would be reorganizing
internally into one “balanced matrix superstructure” that has the firm’s
business lines and geographic regions share responsibility for profit and loss.
Doing so allows the company to offer its full range of services anywhere in the
world that it does business. Once the announcement was made, the team again
met with key stakeholders and, in conjunction with the company’s hired
integration consultation firm, drafted a 125-line communications project plan.
tactics led by the communications team during the launch of the new
organization included a meeting of key communicators from all AECOM businesses
and a webcast from the CEO to the firm’s top 1,300 leaders as well as
companywide employee FAQ docs and CEO letters.
From the time the three acquisitions were announced during February 2008
through the new organization’s launch in early October and the time of this
writing in late December, AECOM grew from 33,000 to 43,000 employees, voluntary
turnover remained at 2007 levels – ending fears of large numbers of employees
going to competitors because of the changes, and business performance continued
to improve year over year to record levels for several of the company’s key
List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:
Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated organization/department:
Paul J. Gennaro, Jr.
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, and
Chief Communications Officer, AECOM Technology Corporation
Paul Gennaro, who joined AECOM in March of 2006, has 20 years of experience
managing corporate communications and public relations. In his role at AECOM,
he leads all aspects of the company’s global corporate communications efforts,
including: investor relations, corporate brand and reputation management,
public and media relations, internal communications, crisis and issues
management, philanthropy and community relations, and government relations.
Prior to AECOM, Gennaro managed all global corporate and marketing
communications for Johns Manville, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. He
also has held communications leadership roles at Ingersoll-Rand Company, Ltd.,
Dell Computer Corp., and American Express Company.