Andrew Davies joins Kier on 15th April, more than a year after he was left stranded by the collapse of Carillion. He was on gardening leave from Wates waiting to take over as chief executive of Carillion when suddenly he was left with no job to go to. Carillion went bust in January 2018.
When Kier sacked Haydn Mursell in January, Andrew Davies was immediately the obvious candidate to take over, as we said at the time. [See previous report here.]
With Kier’s debts piling up, a mutely received rights issue in December and plenty of speculation about it chasing turnover at low or negative margins, the task he faces at Kier is not unlike the job he had expected to do at Carillion – to right a rocky ship.
Andrew Davies, aged 55, was chief executive of Wates Group from 2014 until 2017.
He left Wates in October 2017 when he was announced as the chief executive of Carillion but before he took up the role Carillion became insolvent in January 2018. Before leading Wates, Mr Davies spent more than 28 years with BAE Systems plc, undertaking a range of senior operational and corporate roles, including group strategy director and, latterly, managing director of the Maritime Division.
Philip Cox, executive chairman of Kier, said: "Andrew has a strong track record of business leadership and his operational experience across a number of sectors, combined with his strategic approach, make him an excellent fit for Kier. On behalf of the board, I would like to welcome Andrew to the group and I look forward to working with him."
Andrew Davies said: "I am delighted to be joining Kier as chief executive. Kier has established market-leading positions through developing long-term client relationships and delivering excellent client service. I look forward to leading Kier in consolidating those positions and to bringing a renewed focus on simplifying the group, improving cashflow generation and reducing net debt, whilst maintaining the group's disciplined approach to risk management."
Philip Cox will return to being non-executive chairman once Mr Davies is in post.