Newly promoted exec quietly exits Richard Meier’s firm

Bernhard Karpf left in July

Bernhard Karpf
Bernhard Karpf

Less than a year after taking over the day-to-day operations of Richard Meier’s eponymous architecture firm, managing principal Bernhard Karpf has quietly left.

Karpf, who stepped up his role at the firm following an explosive New York Times story that revealed multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Meier, stopped working for the company in July, a representative for the company confirmed on Friday. Karpf’s picture on the firm’s website, once the first featured on the website’s partners’ page, was recently replaced by Meier’s photo. Details on the circumstances of his departure were not immediately available. A message was left for Karpf seeking comment.

“We thank Bernhard Karpf for his many years of dedicated service and his wide-ranging work that was part of what made Richard Meier & Partners (RMP) the world-renown design firm that it is today,” Meier said in an emailed statement.

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Earlier this year, The Real Deal reported that despite widespread news coverage that Meier was turning over control of the company he founded five decades ago to Karpf, he remained a regular presence in the Midtown office. Five of the women who had accused Meier of sexual misconduct told TRD at the time that they felt the firm wasn’t doing enough to address the alleged misdeeds of its figurehead.

Karpf joined Richard Meier & Partners in 1988, and over the following three decades, rose to the firm’s senior management. Before being promoted to managing principal in October 2018, Karpf was one of the associate design partners at the firm.

During a sitdown interview with TRD in February, Karpf said the months following the publication of the Times investigation were rough, but that in the aftermath, he found it was important to remain at the firm for the sake of his clients.

“If you spend 30 years, almost your entire professional life, there is something that you have, that you created yourself and you’re not walking away from that easily,” he said. “You contemplate what it all means and then you come to the conclusion this is worth keeping.”