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Sun June 13 2021

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Leadership change at Mott MacDonald

4 Jun 19 Consulting engineer Mott MacDonald has a new chairman and a new managing director as of July 2019.

New managing director James Harris (left) and chairman Mike Haigh
New managing director James Harris (left) and chairman Mike Haigh

At the end of this month chairman Keith Howells retires after 45 years with the firm.

Mike Haigh will succeed him as chairman and James Harris will take over from Mike Haigh as managing director for the employee-owned business. Both are long serving staffers.

Mike Haigh joined Mott MacDonald after graduating from the University of Leeds in 1981. He began his career as a graduate engineer in the firm’s water sector business, before taking diverse roles of increasing seniority and reached the board level in 2013. He was also chairman of the Association for Consultancy & Engineering in 2017.

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James Harris joined Mott MacDonald in 1990 as a graduate after studying civil and structural engineering at University College Cardiff. He also started in the water business, before moving overseas to work on some of the company’s projects in Hong Kong. He returned to the UK in 2002 and later became managing director of Mott MacDonald’s water business and its Mott MacDonald Bentley joint venture. He was appointed to the executive board in 2017, when he became managing director for its UK and Europe region.

Both paid tribute Keith Howells. James Harris said: “With Keith at the helm we’ve evolved greatly as an organisation, not only in the people we work alongside but also in the roles we recruit for. The digitisation of our work means we’re now often recruiting for data scientists, software architects and information consultants, which perhaps did not exist in our industry eight years ago.”

Mike Haigh added: “Keith has been an inspirational leader and not only for our 16,000 colleagues. Over the years he’s championed and helped drive better practices across the engineering profession, especially in safety, ethics and equality.”

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