Construction Startup Katerra Attracts Former Oil-Industry CEO

Wall Street Journal

Author: Konrad Putzier | Photo: Aaron M. Sprecher/BLOOMBERG NEWS

SoftBank-backed Katerra taps Schlumberger veteran Paal Kibsgaard to oversee its rapid growth

Silicon Valley-based construction startup has hired a former oil-industry chief executive, a sign that its rapid growth is starting to attract prominent talent from other industries.

Katerra Inc. has brought in Paal Kibsgaard as its chief operating officer, the Menlo Park, Calif., company said. Mr. Kibsgaard was until recently CEO of Schlumberger Ltd. , the world’s largest oil-field-services company.

Founded in 2015, Katerra aims to make construction cheaper and faster by cutting out middlemen and assembling building parts in its factories. The company, which acts as a general contractor and also handles tasks like engineering, architectural design and plumbing, has raised more than $1 billion in venture funding from investors that include SoftBank Group Corp. and major Apple supplier Foxconn Technology Group.

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