Boeckmann, Alan L. 1948–
Alan L. Boeckmann
Chairman of the board and chief executive officer, Fluor Corporation
Education: University of Arizona, BS, 1973.
Career: Fluor Corporation, 1974–1992, engineer; 1992–1996, various management positions including assignments in California, Texas, South Carolina, South Africa, and Venezuela; 1992–1996, president of Chemicals, Plastics and Fibers; 1996–1999, group president of Chemicals and Industrial Processes; Fluor Daniel, 1999–2001, president and chief operating officer; Fluor Corporation, 2001–2002, president and chief operating officer; 2002–, chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
Awards: Technology and Management Distinguished Service Award, University of Arizona, 2001.
Address: Fluor Corporation, One Enterprise Drive, Aliso Viejo, California 92656; http://www.fluor.com.
■ Alan L. Boeckmann, who was the chairman and chief executive officer of Fluor Corporation in the early 2000s, was actively involved in the fight against corruption in the international engineering and construction industry. Boeckmann had been a Fluor executive at various levels since 1992 and held the company's top job after February 2002. As of 2004 Fluor Corporation was a Fortune 500 firm, one of the world's largest publicly owned engineering, procurement, construction, and maintenance service companies. With revenues close to $9 billion in 2003, Fluor did business around the world. The global scope of its operations meant that it had to deal with the manifold challenges of bribery, corruption, and international terrorism.
Alan Boeckmann's long experience in engineering management at all levels in various locations around the world made him a natural choice to succeed Phillip J. Carroll, Jr. as Chairman and CEO of the Fluor Corporation in February 2002. Carroll had been the company's CEO since 1998. After completing a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Arizona, Boeckmann joined Fluor in 1974 as an engineer.
KNOWING THE BUSINESS
After a variety of management-level assignments that took Boeckmann to locations in California, Texas, South Carolina, South Africa, and Venezuela, he was made the president of the chemicals, plastics, and fibers group of Fluor Daniel, which was the corporation's engineering and construction division. Boeckmann assumed his new position in 1992. Four years later he became the president of Fluor Daniel's chemical processes and industrial business group. In 1999 Boeckmann became Fluor Daniel's president and chief operating officer. Once installed as president, Boeckmann monitored the changes in his industry related to the growth of the Internet, e-commerce, and the globalization of the workforce. To remain competitive, Boeckmann directed Fluor's investments toward advanced technology and the employee training needed to use that technology effectively.
Boeckmann was promoted to president and chief operating officer of Fluor Daniel's parent corporation in January 2001. He became Fluor's chairman and chief executive officer in February 2002. Shortly before Boeckmann became Fluor's CEO, however, he was confronted by the highly publicized crises that affected several well-known public corporations across the United States. Media headlines highlighted what appeared to be systemic problems in the way top managers conducted business. A roll call of corporate mismanagement began to unfold just as Boeckmann started his new job, shaping his resolve to strengthen Fluor's efforts to promote fairness, transparency, accountability, and responsibility in its business dealings. He intended to keep Fluor Corporation among the majority of companies that did not make the news.
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE ISSUES
The high-profile corporate scandals of 2002 resulted in the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act. Sarbanes-Oxley, named for the two members of Congress who had sponsored it, was the latest in a series of laws governing the American stock market that began with the Securities Act of 1933. In 1934 the Securities Exchange Act established the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and gave it broad authority over all aspects of the securities industry, including the power to prohibit the types of misconduct that had led to the corporate scandals of 2002. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act in essence strengthened the powers of the SEC.
Fluor already had in place some of the procedures recommended by the SEC, such as naming outsiders to its board of directors and having committees in place to monitor the external auditors who checked the company's financial records. In addition, all Fluor employees had already been required to subscribe in writing to the company's code of business conduct. Since these policies alone were not foolproof, as the 2002 scandals indicated, Fluor made several additional changes in its governance that were consistent with the new law.
TAKING A STAND AGAINST CORRUPTION
The issue of corruption in business, although it made headlines across the United States in 2002, is neither new nor confined to North America. Business corruption at the global level was addressed at a series of special sessions at the World Economic Forum's annual meetings. As chairman of the Engineering and Construction Governors of the World Economic Forum, Boeckmann played a major role in the multinational task force charged with establishing the benchmark business principles that were presented at the forum's annual meeting in January 2004. According to a PR Newswire press release, Boeckmann said, "This is an issue that I'm absolutely passionate about. Corruption has a corrosive impact on market opportunities and the general business climate" (July 30, 2003).
Fluor's status as a company incorporated in the United States meant that it was subject to the provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. This act made it unlawful for any American company to pay bribes to foreign officials to secure business deals. Ethical companies, however, paid a price in lost income for refusing to engage in bribery. Boeckmann reported in 2003 that according to the U.S. Commerce Department, "… during the period 1994–2002 as many as 474 large offshore contracts worth $237 billion involved bribery of foreign officials" (World Energy Magazine 6, no. 4, 2003).
Until 1998 U.S. companies had to face unfair competition alone. In that year, however, they got help when more than 30 countries implemented the strong anti-bribery measures mandated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. As of early 2004, Fluor continued to do business on six continents.
See also entry on the Fluor Corporation in International Directory of Company Histories.
sources for further information
Boeckmann, Alan L., "Taking a Corporate Stand against Corruption," World Energy Magazine 6, no. 4 (2003), pp. 2–5.
"Engineering and Construction Industry Tackles Global Corruption," PR Newswire, July 30, 2003.
"Managing New Risks," World Economic Forum, Annual Meeting 2004, www.weforum.org.
"No Longer Business as Usual—Fighting Bribery and Corruption," OECD, October 1, 2000, www.oecd.org.
—M. C. Nagel