Sir Robert McAlpine chief executive steps down after eight months

Tony Aikenhead
Tony Aikenhead

Tony Aikenhead is to step down from his role as chief executive of Sir Robert McAlpine after just eight months in the post.

Formerly director of operations at John Laing, Mr Aikenhead was the first non-McAlpine family member appointed to run the business when he took up the role last November.

On his appointment he had a planned retirement date of early 2018 but will now be leaving at the end of this month.

According to the company, Mr Aikenhead has already completed the turnaround job he was hired to do.

A statement by Sir Robert McAlpine said: “His objective was the introduction of the improvement programmes that would transform the business and its future.

“Sir Robert McAlpine is again trading profitably with a robust structure in place and a strong order book.

“Having achieved his objective, Tony and Sir Robert McAlpine’s Construction Board have agreed that the time is right for him to hand on his board responsibilities.”

The statement continued: “Over the last eight months, and following a thorough business review, the construction board has instigated a major behavioural change programme to foster a culture of operational excellence and to focus the business around its new strategy of growth, diversification and resilience. This is already providing our clients with better, and more tailored, service. The company has been actively working towards its commercial objectives to increase the proportion turnover from frameworks and the public sector and to achieve 20 per cent of turnover from civil engineering by 2019. Tony has overseen the introduction of new governance processes and revised risk management and tendering procedures. These are having a significant and positive impact on company’s margins and performance with current contracts performing ahead of strategic objectives.”

Gavin McAlpine, non-executive chairman of the construction board, said: “We would like to thank Tony for his significant contribution to the business. He has seen the company through a major process of transition, which has moved us back into profit this year. His efforts, alongside the work of the construction board, means that the company is facing a very bright future with a strong order book for the coming years. We wish Tony well in his future endeavours.”

The company statement added that “the process of succession planning is well underway and Sir Robert McAlpine hopes to announce the appointment of a new chief executive in the coming months”.

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