Laing O'Rourke appoints Europe hub Managing Director

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Laing O'Rourke appoints Europe hub Managing Director

Laing O'Rourke today announced the appointment of Paul Sheffield as managing director of the Group's Europe Hub, covering operations in Canada, United Kingdom and the Middle East. Paul will have executive responsibility for leading the development and delivery of the group's growth agenda in these core markets.

He will serve on the Laing O'Rourke Group Executive Committee reporting to Anna Stewart, group chief executive and will take up his post in October 2014.

Paul joins the company following a 31-year career with Kier - the construction, services and property development group. Most recently he served as chief executive officer, stepping down in June 2014 following a successful 4-year tenure overseeing a significant expansion in their activities, including the successful acquisition of May Gurney.

Paul graduated in civil engineering from the University of Surrey and joined Kier in 1983. He went on to gain extensive experience in UK and international contracting, leading to his appointment as managing director of Kier's infrastructure business in 2001. He was appointed to the group board in October 2005 where he had responsibility for all of the group's construction business and became CEO at the start of 2010.

Paul is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Surrey in recognition of the major contributions he has made to the civil engineering profession. Paul is an inaugural member of the UK Government's Construction Industrial Strategy Advisory Council (CISAC), set up by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to drive a long term strategy for growth in construction across the UK.

Commenting on the appointment, Group Chief Executive of Laing O'Rourke, Anna Stewart said:

"During this period of industry transformation, there is no better person to lead the development of Laing O'Rourke's Europe Hub than Paul Sheffield. He is a proven leader with hard core engineering and construction skills, industry vision and the ability to unite people behind that vision. His passion for how the construction industry can positively influence the world around us is exactly what Laing O'Rourke needs as we enter our next chapter of innovation and growth.

"With a broad executive remit, he will spearhead the Europe Hub strategy to get closer to our customers by delivering the inherent benefits of our unique business offering. As one of the few remaining civil engineers to lead a major international contractor, his experience of successfully running complex businesses will greatly benefit the Group as we evolve our strategic focus towards expanding the opportunities to deploy our Design for Manufacture and Assembly approach."

Commenting on his new role, Paul Sheffield said:

"To make real progress towards the ambitions set out last year in the UK Government's industrial strategy for construction in 2025, businesses need to have the courage to find ways of doing things differently. The 30% time and 50% cost savings targeted will not be achieved by incremental change alone. Recent investments in innovation, manufacturing and engineering excellence at Laing O'Rourke have shown that they have the ambition to lead this change agenda and to drive it at a pace that I have not seen in any other business in the industry. I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to be at the forefront of this paradigm shift in the way our industry works, and am very much looking forward to meeting the team and getting started in October."

Chairman of Laing O'Rourke, Ray O'Rourke said:

"We are absolutely delighted that Paul has agreed to join us and lead the development of our international businesses across the Europe hub. He is one of the leading figures in our industry and has an outstanding reputation in business development, corporate leadership and construction delivery. The opportunity ahead for Laing O'Rourke is huge, but in order to seize it, we must have clear focus, move at pace, while continually innovating and transforming our customer offering. Paul possesses the skills and experience to help make this happen and the Board is looking forward to working with him."

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