Mr Howson will step up from chief operating officer on 1 January 2012 on the retirement of John McDonough.
Mr Howson has worked for Carillion for 16 years. He was first appointed to the board in December 2009. As COO he has had direct responsibility for all Carillion’s business units, and for the health & safety and sustainability programmes.
Prior to becoming COO he had two and a half years as managing director of Carillion’s Middle East and North Africa businesses. Before that, he held leadership positions in the company’s rail and UK construction businesses.
John McDonough has had a distinguished career in construction, with the recent award of a CBE in Her Majesty the Queen's 2011 Birthday Honours list being a highlight. He is also chairman of the CBI’s Construction Council and a member of the CBI’s President’s Committee.
Carillion chairman Philip Rogerson said: “John joined the board as chief executive in January 2001 and has made a major contribution to Carillion's success. Under his leadership, Carillion's earnings and dividends per share have broadly trebled as the company has been transformed from being largely focused on UK construction into an international support services company with a strong, selective construction capability. John will leave the Board and the company with our grateful thanks and very best wishes for his retirement.