Doug Woods, Co-Founder of DPR Construction, Dies at 70

Doug Woods, co-founder of DPR Construction, based in Redwood City, Calif., Passed away peacefully at his home on May 19, according to a statement released by the company. He was 70 years old.

The cause of death and the names of surviving families were not immediately available.

With his partners Peter Nosler and Ron Davidowski and $ 750,000 in pooled resources, Woods started DPR as a self-performing general contractor in Palo Alto, Calif., In 1990. (The company name derives from the initials of founders’ first names.) “When we started DPR, we wanted to be a customer-centric organization,” recalls Woods, who has always viewed DPR as a service company. “We are not a firm bid general contractor; we are a negotiating and autonomous general contractor who takes care of our clients. To do this, we need great people who are happy and willing to work hard. It’s one of the things that got us started, making us different from the start.

In 1995, DPR ranked third on Inc. magazine’s nationwide list of Fastest Growing Private Companies. And for over 30 years, Woods, Nosler and Davidowski have seen their business grow into one. of the industry’s largest GCs, with approximately 6,500 office and craft workers globally and over $ 6 billion in revenue in 2019, the latest year for which sales information was available.

Woods retired from the day-to-day management of the company in 2015, but remained on the board of directors of DPR until 2017. He was CEO of the company’s board of directors until his death.


Doug Woods of DPR Construction emphasized team spirit and customer service.

Born in Ontario on January 27, 1951, Woods was the son of an engineer. His family built or remodeled all of the homes Woods lived in as a child, and his father worked in construction and real estate. “Being in the construction business is in my blood,” said Woods.

DPR’s first core project was a skilled nursing facility for The Terraces in Los Gatos, California, and healthcare has since been one of its primary practices. The company first hit $ 1 billion in annual sales in 1998. But Woods wasn’t so interested in milestones. “For us, there was no turning point, but a series of opportunities and challenges that impacted the DPR business today and made us stronger.

The company’s unregulated management style – “No titles, no ties, no organizational chart,” Woods told the San Francisco Business Times in 2015 – has found success in collaborative teamwork, which is palpable in the memories of many colleagues and employees.


“I have only had the privilege of meeting Doug maybe six times. From a guy who came from the field and had a limited education, Doug really showed me what “no row in the room” meant: “Never forget, we exist to build great things,” recalls Robbie. Thomason, a senior. superintendent who has worked for DPR for over seven years.

David Ibarra, a 25-year veteran of the company who heads the company’s critical group, recalls meeting Woods as a new employee doing electrical work on a complex project. Woods wanted to know if Ibarria was getting the management support he needed on the ground to do his job. “Otherwise, he said ‘just call them.’ I had a founder who spoke to me directly and made sure I was empowered to play my role.

Kurt Wallner, Project Director at DPR, first met Woods in May 2000, when he was preparing for the company’s 2030 mission. “Hearing Doug talk about a vision for DPR, decades into the future, I knew then that I would join something very, very special.”

Woods has served on the construction industry roundtable and served on the board of directors of the US Green Building Council. And his legacy at DPR could, in part, be defined by Mission 2030, the company’s strategic direction to be recognized as one of the world’s most admired companies that year.