For nearly 20 years Andy Cohen and Diane Hoskins have led Gensler as co-CEOs. Today, the firm has announced Cohen and Hoskins, in a first for the firm, will be named global co-chairs. Cohen’s and Hoskins’s shoes will be filled by two other long-time Gensler employees, Julia Simet and Jordan Goldstein.
At Gensler this collaborative working model, hinged on co-leaderships, is integral to the company, filtering down through every level of the firm. “We see this role very much from that professional services mindset of first among equals,” Hoskins said in an interview with AN. “ There’s a whole community of leaders that we are a part of, but you are co-leading with that group as well.”
“It’s a balance that allows us to cover things, that allows us to serve people to be accessible, to continue to learn and take on the things that we’re really passionate about,” Simet added. “And it works. And it’s not a single pressure point, it’s a model from a business perspective, and from a people-first perspective, that allows us to do what we need to do to focus on growing the people and growing the firm.”
Simet and Goldstein will take the helm as co-CEOs making them responsible for its day-to-day operations, its 53 global offices and 33 practice areas, while promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion. Each designer comes at the position with a different perspective, having worked in different locations, but also in their backgrounds. Goldstein has focused on more design work, while Simet on the workplace.
After nearly 20 years as co-CEOs, Cohen and Hoskins will become the firm’s first global co-chairs. In this new position for the company, the pair will continue to extend the firm’s global reach. Looking toward their new roles, and the future of the firm and architectural industry at-large, the group of co-leaders is excited.
“When I started working in the firm, 27 years ago, right out of grad school, with Diane and Andy, one of the things that happened right away is people like me, were coming in with a lot of new digital skill sets,” Goldstein recalled. “Here we are 27 years later. And there’s another point of inflection in the industry and in the marketplace, where technology well-harnessed can really be a change agent.”
“Design is never more important than now,” Cohen added.
In addition to expanding the use of technology at the firm is a focus on net zero. Goldstein and Simet have been part of a team that has developed a strategy for implementing net-zero design practices across the company and its projects. Coupled with this push to reduce carbon is the firm’s recently announced Gensler Product Sustainability (GPS) Standards, a set of criteria for specifying sustainable products and materials for projects. Across the practice, Gensler is also working to improve its diversity and inclusion initiatives.
The four professionals will take on their new roles on January 1, 2024.