Bob Holt, 61, has been appointed executive chairman of Lakehouse, taking on the role previously filled by Stuart Black until his resignation in April. The company's remuneration policy is being re-written to meet Mr Holt's salary demands.
Ric Piper, the former WS Atkins finance director who has been non-executive chairman since April’s boardroom coup, is now vacating the chair but will stay on the board as a non-executive until the end of November to help Mr Holt bed in.
Bob Holt, 61, bought Mears in 1996 for £50,000 and then floated it on the stock exchange. He remains chairman of Mears, as well as social housing contractor Forrest. According to his LinkedIn page, Bob Holt is also currently chairman of Totally plc, DX Group and Inspired Energy.
Before taking over Mears, he had previously been involved with building up Mitie.
In a statement, Lakehouse said: “The board of Lakehouse believes that Mr Holt's expertise and background in the support services industry, in particular his knowledge, considerable experience of and reputation in the sector in which the company's principal business operates and his track record of turning around underperforming companies, will be invaluable to the group going forward. It makes him a highly qualified candidate for the position of executive chairman of the company as the board seeks to restore value for Lakehouse shareholders.
So that they can afford Mr Holt, Lakehouse is having to re-write its directors’ remuneration policy. Shareholder approval is being sought for this. If the shareholders do not agree to My Holt’s terms, he will walk away, the board said.
Robert Legget, senior independent non-executive director and acting chairman of the remuneration committee of Lakehouse, said: "We are delighted that we have attracted a very senior candidate of the calibre of Bob Holt. He is a sector specialist, has a proven track record of operational expertise and is expected to be key to helping Lakehouse restore value to our shareholders. We are confident shareholders will recognise his potential positive contribution and support his appointment."
Bob Holt said: "I'm delighted to be joining the board of Lakehouse and believe that my experience in the areas in which the group operates will be of benefit. The board is committed to return significant shareholder value and I look forward to working with the team to deliver that strategy."