327: Designing the World-Class Architecture Firm with Patrick MacLeamy



Today’s guest should need no introduction, but you may not have heard of him because the firm he led as CEO from 2003 to 2017, one of the largest and most successful architecture firms in the world, doesn’t revolve around the fame of one individual.

Our guest is Patrick MacLeamy, former CEO of the firm HOK.
MacLeamy just released a book on his experience in leadership and business through his time at HOK titled: Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories and Strategies Behind HOK.
MacLeamy is also the Chairman of buildingSMART International, which works to achieve open standards for the exchange of digital information in the building and infrastructure industries. He was a founding member of buildingSMART, in 1994.

He spent 50 years at HOK, which grew into one of the largest architecture and engineering firms in the world during his time there. MacLeamy rose from Junior Designer to CEO of HOK and witnessed the firm’s growth from a single midwestern office to 27 locations across the globe offering architecture, interiors, engineering, planning and more.

MacLeamy joined HOK St. Louis in 1967, after which he helped establish the firm’s San Francisco outpost in 1970 – later becoming managing principal of that office. He joined HOK’s executive committee in 1995 and was named COO five years later. In 2003, HOK shareholders elected MacLeamy Chief Executive Officer.

He led the firm for 13 years. In 2016, MacLeamy chose a new CEO for HOK, remaining as Chairman for one more year before retiring —or as he likes to say, “repurposing.”

In this episode of Business of Architecture, MacLeamy shares hard-learned business lessons from his time at HOK and the principles that led this company to be the success that it is today.

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