Tony Aikenhead, a former John Laing director of operations, was appointed chief executive of Sir Robert McAlpine in November 2015. He was the first person not called McAlpine to lead the family-owned company. He originally joined McAlpine in 2007 as project director of the London 2012 Olympic stadium project.
When he was appointed chief executive, his planned retirement date was early 2018.
However, according to the company, Mr Aikenhead has already completed the turnaround job he was hired to do. A successor has not yet been chosen.
In a statement, the company 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% 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”.