Mr Smith will work alongside the support services CEO Chris Durkin as part of a planned transition that will eventually see him taking over as divisional chief executive when Mr Durkin retires at the end of 2013. He will also join the main Willmott Dixon board.
Mr Durkin has been with Willmott Dixon for more than 30 years and will remain a non-executive director at support services.
As well as spending nearly 10 years as chief executive at Morgan Sindall, Mr Smith was previously managing director at Accord Group.
Willmott Dixon group chief executive Rick Willmott said: “This is a plan that we have been working towards for some time. It’s not an easy task to find the right person to replace Chris, however in Paul we have found an ideal candidate and he’ll work closely with Chris and I as COO this year to ensure a seamless transition to divisional chief executive.
“Given his previous track-record, it is great news that we have acquired the services of Paul to oversee the next phase of Support Services’ growth; he is a fine addition for the group and I am looking forward to working with him.”