Black & Veatch Names James Bleak President of Its Bird Electric Operations

Incoming executive brings deep critical infrastructure expertise to company on growth trajectory
May 22, 2024 10:00 AM ET
Campaign: Power Grid
Black & Veatch Company logo.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., May 22, 2024 /3BL/ – Sustainable critical infrastructure leader Black & Veatch has named James Bleak as the new president of its Bird Electric business, one year after acquiring the self-perform construction services provider in bringing Black & Veatch’s growing construction portfolio capabilities to a wider client base.

Bleak, who has most recently served as president of Quanta Telecom Solutions, brings three decades of experience to Black & Veatch, having served in roles of increasing responsibility and diversity during his construction industry career.

Black & Veatch, through its Bird Electric entity, continues to expand its electrical construction services to electric utility, oil and gas, and data center clients while extending its national reach in emergency power restoration.

“James’ deep infrastructure expertise and established client relationships will be instrumental in continuing our exciting energy transition growth trajectory,” Black & Veatch Chairman and CEO Mario Azar said. “Bird Electric is a core element of our solutions portfolio enabling the national expansion and resiliency essential for a secure supply of electricity.”

“Bird Electric, as part of Black & Veatch possesses a strong vision and culture of execution excellence that will advance our efforts in better meeting the needs of an ever-expanding client base,” Bleak said, noting that the company also has an industry-leading safety record and strong training programs.

Bleak will report to Rich Jacober – a Black & Veatch executive vice president and distributed infrastructure solutions leader. Previous Bird Electric leader Brian Bird will work to support Bleak to ensure a smooth transition, then concentrate on the accelerated growth of the company’s storm-restoration business.

With more than 600 employees, Bird Electric has a much sought-after national reach in emergency power restoration – a key area Black & Veatch has focused on growing when it acquired Bird Electric Enterprises and Bird Electric Properties – collectively known as Bird Electric – in early 2023.

Before joining Quanta, Bleak was a Forbes Brothers manager for the Southwest region that includes Nevada, California and Arizona. He also served as president of KK&L Inc., specializing in city and state road work, large utility projects, estimating and negotiating contracts while supervising administrative aspects of all jobs. Before that, he was a general superintendent with TAB Contractors, where he monitored subcontractor activities and established safety practices for highway and public works construction projects.

About Black & Veatch 
Black & Veatch is a 100-percent employee-owned global engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people around the world by addressing the resilience and reliability of our most important infrastructure assets. Follow us on and on social media.

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