He has been group chief executive of defence research firm QinetiQ for the past five years. From 2004 to 2008 Mr Quinn was CEO of De La Rue, the largest non-government printer of banknotes, and before that was global president of Honeywell Building Controls and a divisional COO at Invensys.
Educated at Imperial College, London and Portsmouth University, Mr Quinn holds an MSc in management science and a BSc in civil engineering. He is aged 57.
It has taken a while to find him. Balfour Beatty has been without a chief executive since May when Andrew McNaughton left. Since then it has had a torrid time, fighting off an initially welcomed takeover bid from Carillion, issuing profits warnings and seeing its value collapse by nearly 50% with its share price falling from 285 pence to below 150 pence.
Mr Quinn will be paid a basic annual salary of £800,000 plus benefits to turn things around.
Executive chairman Steve Marshall said: “I am delighted to welcome Leo to Balfour Beatty. Leo is an outstanding individual with an excellent track record in improving the performance of major international businesses. He has the depth and breadth of experience and the drive to lead our company through the next stage of its development. I am confident that Balfour Beatty will thrive under Leo’s leadership.”
Leo Quinn said: “Balfour Beatty is a world-leading brand with world-leading talent. Having started my career there, I am very proud to be rejoining a company so ingrained in British engineering, and am resolute in my ambition to realise its enormous potential for customers, employees and investors. The building blocks are there to give Balfour Beatty’s people the success they deserve and I am keen to work with them to create something significant and lasting.”