Lendlease Americas names new CEO

Dive Brief:

  • Australia-based contractor and developer Lendlease has appointed a new CEO for its Americas division, effective Nov. 1.
  • Claire Johnston, managing director of the firm’s Google Development Ventures division, will replace former global chief operating officer and CEO Americas Denis Hickey, who is leaving the organization after 10 years, the company announced Thursday. With Hickey’s departure, Global CEO Tony Lombardo will assume the responsibilities of global COO.
  • Johnston’s career with Lendlease spans 26 years and started when she was a young college graduate in Australia. She has worked in multiple markets and sectors with some of the company’s largest customers, including running Lendlease’s military housing portfolio for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Dive Insight:

Lendlease has struggled with uneven financial performance recently, with Lombardo calling 2022 a “reset year” due to lasting impacts from the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic, company restructuring and its decision to pull out of non-core work.

Claire Johnston

Permission granted by Lendlease


The company reported a $68 million ($99 million Australian dollars) loss after taxes for its full fiscal year ending June 30. Profit dropped from $153 million the year before, according to Lendlease. Nevertheless, the full year numbers showed a recovery from the first half of its fiscal 2022, when the firm reported $182 million in losses. 

Lendlease’s work with Google includes a major San Francisco Bay Area project that will include the development and construction of four neighborhoods into 15 million square feet of office, residential, retail, hospitality and community development space. With expected completion in 2038, the project is valued at approximately $15 billion, according to Lendlease.

The project is part of the company’s U.S. development pipeline of more than $28 billion, the release said. The Sydney-based company has six offices in the United States, in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Nashville, Tennessee.

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