Sir Robert McAlpine appoints first non-family CEO

Tony Aikenhead
Tony Aikenhead

Long-established construction group Sir Robert McAlpine has appointed the first non-family member to run the business following a review into its management and governance structure.

The review, which included feedback from clients and all staff, was undertaken to ensure the company is focused around key growth areas for the future. As a result Tony Aikenhead has now been appointed as chief executive of the company and will lead the Construction Board.

This eight-strong board will be responsible for the overall performance of the company, which has now been structured into two divisions: ‘Building’, which remains organised by regions with sector and key account support; and ‘Civil Engineering’, a national division organised around key specialisms and skills. It will also oversee business development, risk and investment.

Strong family representation on the Construction Board will ensure the company retains its traditional values and heritage as it embarks on a period of change and growth. Gavin McAlpine will become non-executive chairman, combining this with his role as executive chairman at RES, the McAlpine family’s renewable energy business; Hector McAlpine will become deputy chairman; and Edward McAlpine will take on the role of director of corporate development.

Tony and the Construction Board will report directly into the new ‘Supervisory Board’ of McAlpine family members, who will retain a close association with the business and provide support to the Building and Civil Engineering divisions.

Other directors include: Boyd McFee, responsible for building; Mark Williamson covering civil engineering; Martin Pitt, commercial director; and Miles Shelley, finance director.

Senior family member David McAlpine said: “The changes we are announcing today reflect the progression of the business and the natural generational succession of the McAlpine family. I am delighted that the new board structure retains the best of the company’s heritage through strong family engagement. I have absolute confidence in the vision, energy and focus of the new Construction Board.”

The Construction Board will be working closely with management teams across the business to implement a robust business strategy that is designed to achieve sustainable growth and diversification for the company.

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