The Bechtel Group announced yesterday that George P. Schultz, who last week removed himself from consideration as a member of President-elect Ronald Reagan's cabinet, will become president of the worldwide construction firm.
Shultz's new title coincides with a restructuring of the San Francisco-based company into a holding company and four major subsidiaries.
Shultz will be president of the holding company, Bechtel Group Inc., and will concentrate on external relations, international matters and investments, according to the company. Stephen D. Bechtel Jr., the third generation of his family to head the company, will continue as chairman and chief executive officer. Harvey F. Brush is executive vice president of the group.
Before the reorganization, Shultz's title was vice chairman of the three Bechtel operating companies.
Until last week, two of Bechtel's senior officials had been candidates for top positions in the Reagan administration -- Schultz, who was Treasury secretary in the Nixon administration and the head of Reagan's economic advisory group, and Caspar W. Weinberger, Bechtel's general counsel.
Weinberger is still regarded as a near certain choice for a top-level cabinet position, at either the departments of Defense, Treasury or State. He was secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in the Nixon administration.
The Bechtel announcement confirms Schultz's standing in the company, one of the largest construction firms in the world. It has built nearly half of the nuclear power plants in the United States and an imposing list of major pipeline projects and other energy facilities overseas.
Bechtel's gross revenues for 1979 totaled $6.8 billion, according to the company, which does not trade its stock publicly and thus is not required to issue financial reports.
A cabinet post would have entailed a very large financial sacrifice for Shultz, according to Reagan aides. The top 39 executives and 17 directors of Bechtel can own stock in the company but have to sell it back when they leave.