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MacDonald G. Becket, Franklin Herbert Ellerbe, John J. Labosky, Richard Lincicome, Peter Christian Pran, Mehrdad Yazdani, Carlos Zapata

Active 1988-2009

Firm Notes

Ellerbe Architects was founded in 1909 in Saint Paul, MN, by Franklin Herbert Ellerbe (1871-1921).

On 08/09/1987, the Los Angeles Times reported that a merger had been announced by CEOs McDonald G. Becket of Santa Monica, CA-based Welton Becket Associates and John J. Labosky of Saint Paul-based Ellerbe Associates that the former would be acquired by the latter to form a new firm. The new firm, named "Ellerbe Becket, Incorporated," merged during the course of late 1987 and early 1988.

As noted in the Times article, Welton Becket Associates had 1986 revenues of $24 million, making it the 13th largest architectural firm in Building Design and Construction magazine's 07/1987 survey of the field. Ellerbe Associates had revenues of $34 million, ranking it 8th. (See "Architectural Firms Disclose Merger Plan," Los Angeles Times, 08/09/1987, p. G12.)

in 2002, Ellerbe Becket was one of the top ten architecture/engineering firms in the United States. Five years later, Rick Lincicome served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), a position that he held until 2009.

On 10/26/2009, Ellerbe Becket, Incorporated, was purchased by AECOM, the giant architecture-planning-engineering firm. According to one report: "'We were doing very well,' says Ellerbe's president and CEO, Rick Lincicome, 'but we knew we were too focused on healthcare,' which represented 80 percent of the firm's practice. 'We also needed to grow more quickly geographically.' Two years ago, Ellerbe's directors and principals began looking at both acquiring businesses and being acquired as possible next steps. Then the recession hit hard in late 2008, and exploratory talks with several other firms were suspended. By this past spring, Ellerbe's directors felt the firm—an employee-owned venture with about 450 people in seven offices, five in the U.S. and two in the Middle East—was sound enough to go back to talking with AECOM, which employs 44,000. 'We have complementary expertise,' Lincicome says. 'We've got sports. They have urban planning and master planning. They've got seven provinces in China. They're in Australia, and the Middle East. It would have taken [Ellerbe] a long time to develop such a platform.'" (See Bradford McKee,, "AECOM Acquires Ellerbe Becket," published 10/26/2009, accessed 09/19/2018.)

PCAD id: 58