Top-ranking national contractor Jacobsen Construction names new CEO

Gary Ellis

Due to the planned retirement of CEO Douglas C. Welling, Jacobsen Construction Company, Inc.’s board of directors voted unanimously on Wednesday, November 4 to promote Jacobsen President Gary Ellis to the dual role of president and CEO, effective January 1, 2021.

Welling is retiring effective January 1, 2021 after 33 distinguished and visionary years with Jacobsen, including 14 years as company president and the last nine years as president and CEO. This change is the result of Jacobsen’s closely followed leadership succession plan that has been in place for several years at the company.

“Gary is very well-prepared for his new responsibilities and brings a clear vision for Jacobsen’s future and has a great team to support him,” Welling said. “I have full confidence and faith in Gary, and I know he feels the same passion I’ve had for Jacobsen’s values and priorities: wowing every client, emphasizing accountability and problem solving in our work, championing employee ownership and empowerment, fostering a culture of caring and jobsite safety, and dreaming big about every project’s potential to make our communities better.”

Ellis was named to the president’s role in June of 2020 and will additionally continue in that position. He has been with Jacobsen for twenty years, previously serving as chief financial officer (CFO) for six of those years. As he takes on the role of CEO, Ellis brings with him his vast experience in building meaningful, productive and trusted relationships with Jacobsen employees, clients and trade partners.

“I feel profoundly humbled to be asked to represent all the great people of Jacobsen Construction Company in this new role,” Ellis said. “I am passionate about the consistently outstanding work of our hundreds of dedicated and talented employees. As Jacobsen continues to seek ways to strengthen its impact on the construction industry through thoughtful innovation, the bedrock principles that have made Jacobsen successful for nearly a century will continue to guide the company’s day-to-day work and its long-term aspirations.”

Doug Welling

Under Welling’s leadership as CEO, Jacobsen’s influence in the industry grew considerably with such landmark projects as the Utah State Capitol restoration and base isolation, City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City, Provo City Center Temple restoration and Salt Lake Temple renovation.

“I have immensely enjoyed the work I do, and I have loved working alongside the most outstanding people in the construction industry. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to work closely with these people, and for the success and value that we have created together,” Welling said. “We have improved peoples’ lives, and the success and happiness of our communities, with every project.”

This long-planned company leadership change comes at a time of immense opportunity, excitement and historical significance for Jacobsen’s more than 600 employee-owners. In December, Jacobsen’s exceptional new Salt Lake City headquarters will be fully built. And in 2022, Jacobsen will celebrate 100 years since its founding.

Jacobsen is also currently involved with such exciting and significant projects as Kensington Tower, West Quarter Tower and Liberty Sky Tower in downtown Salt Lake City, the new Primary Children’s Hospital in Lehi, and the historic renovation and restoration of the Salt Lake Temple. 

About Jacobsen Construction Company, Inc. 

Founded in 1922 by Soren N. Jacobsen in Salt Lake City, Jacobsen is a 100% employee-owned, Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) company. With more than 600 employees, Jacobsen is consistently ranked as one of the top contractors in the country, as well as one of the nation’s Top 100 Green Contractors. For more information visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.