Ralph Courtenay quits architect after 15 years, following reshuffle last autumn

Ralph Courtenay, former head of architect HOK International in London, has left the company after 15 years.

HOK this week confirmed that the director had left the London office of the US firm “to pursue other interests”.

It is understood that Courtenay, 64, is not retiring, although he was this week unavailable to comment on his future plans.

His departure follows a management reshuffle last September that changed the structure of the company.

Darwin Centre
The Darwin Centre designed by HOK's London office

HOK moved Sam Spata, a principal, from its New York office, to run the headquarters of HOK International in London.

Spata, who joined the London office as operations director with responsibility for the day-to-day running of the office, took over what had been Courtenay’s remit. Courtenay had effectively been managing the practice.

The London office now has a board of five instead of six, and a spokesperson for HOK said that an imminent replacement for Courtenay on the board was not planned.

Spata’s fellow board members are Larry Malcic, the design director, David King, the technical director, and Pierre Baillargeon, Andrew Barraclough, and Richard Spencer.

This week, Malcic said: “Ralph has been a valued member of the London and HOK Inc boards. We are grateful for his many contributions and we all wish him every success in his future ventures.”

• Norman Foster bought out an employee share trust weeks before putting his own shares up for sale.

Foster bought the 49.6 % stake in January. Anyone employed for more than a year received 10% of their annual salary.

The trust, the Foster + Partners Employee Benefit Trust, was established several years ago. It is understood Foster would not have been able to sell his stake unless he unwound it.

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