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JACOBS ENGINEERING ANNOUNCES HISTORIC MANAGEMENT TRANSITION

 President Noel Watson Elected Chief Executive;
 Founder Joseph Jacobs to Continue as Chairman
 PASADENA, Calif, Nov. 19 ~PRNewswire~ -- Nearly a half-century after founding the company that bears his name, Dr. Joseph J. Jacobs today announced a carefully planned transition under which long-time colleague and company president Noel G. Watson will succeed him as chief executive officer of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (NYSE: JEC) effective Nov. 19. Jacobs, 76, will continue as chairman of the board.
 Watson, 56, first joined Jacobs Engineering more than three decades ago, rising steadily through the ranks to become president in 1987. Together, the two men were the driving force in the exceptional growth Jacobs Engineering has experienced in recent years. Since 1986, the company's revenues have increased at a compound average annual rate of 32 percent, reaching $1.1 billion in fiscal 1992, while profits rose at an average annual rate of 77 percent over the same period to $26.6 million.
 "When our company had to go through a painful restructuring in 1984, because of a severe depression in the engineering and construction industry, Noel Watson and I stood side-by-side and shouldered the burdens. We have been running the company together since then," Jacobs said.
 "In 1987, Noel was elected president and chief operating officer, and the company's growth subsequently has been exceptional. In the past few years, my role has been primarily to provide broad vision and enthusiastic support for the outstanding management team surrounding Noel.
 "Classically, entrepreneurs have had great difficulty in surrendering the reigns of management. I am proud of the orderly and smooth transition that we, along with our outstanding board, have been able to effect. No one is better equipped than Noel Watson to take this company into what is sure to be a bright future. I will be on hand to help."
 Pasadena-based Jacobs Engineering, ranked first in construction industry profitability for 1991 by Forbes and regarded as one of the world's premier engineering and construction firms, was launched by Jacobs as a one-man consultancy in Los Angeles in 1947. Under his leadership, the company has grown into a network of 25 offices in the United States and Europe with more than 12,500 employees.
 Watson, who retains the title of president, has spent most of his 34-year career with Jacobs Engineering. Prior to his election as executive vice president in 1981, he served for five years as group vice president of the Mining and Minerals Division and for a total of 11 years as vice president-western region, engineering manager, and project manager involved in a wide range of major mining and minerals processing projects.
 A member of the California Business Roundtable, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, he earned a bachelor of science in chemical engineering at the University of North Dakota in 1958.
 Jacobs has been a leader in the engineering and construction industry for decades. His autobiography, "The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur: Family, Culture and Ethics," was published in 1991, and he has earned wide recognition for his involvement in professional, civic and charitable causes. In 1990, he won the Distinguished Career Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Southern California Section and in 1983 received the Hoover Medal honoring his community and humanitarian efforts.
 Jacobs is active in many professional organizations, including the California Business Roundtable. He also serves as chairman of the board of trustees of his alma mater, Polytechnic University in New York, and as a trustee of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif. Four years ago, he established the Jacobs Family Foundation to support a variety of charitable, community and educational organizations.
 He began his career as a chemical engineer in 1939 and later worked for Merck & Co. in the early development of manufacturing processes for penicillin. He was working as a vice president and technical director for Chemurgic Corp. when he left to open his own firm.
 Jacobs Engineering provides single-source consulting, engineering, design, architectural, environmental and hazardous waste management, procurement, construction, construction management, contract maintenance and operations services to government and industry worldwide.
 -0- 11~19~92
 ~CONTACT: Robert Clement, 818-578-6902 (media), or John Prosser, 818-578-6803 (financial), both of Jacobs Engineering~
 (JEC)


CO: Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. ST: California IN: CST SU: PER

EH-LS -- LA003 -- 2724 11~19~92 09:30 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 19, 1992
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