We track down the bosses who once commanded the biggest firms in construction and reveal their new roles away from the limelight
Last week it emerged that former Rok chief executive Garvis Snook had turned up as a director at little known Exeter based firm Repair-Rite. Snook, who departed Rok last September after the firm collapsed with the loss of more than 3,000 jobs, is the latest in a long line of high profile industry figures to reemerge away from the limelight - either at smaller outfits or in less public-facing roles.
Here, Building revisits some of the figures involved in very public exits over the past few years - and tracks down how they have fared since.
David Fison joined Skanska in 1998 and became their chief executive four years later. Under his stewardship Skanska passed the £1bn turnover mark in 2007. Just one year later however, Fison left after the Swedish contractor posted a £41.5m loss for the first half of 2008. He was appointed as chief executive of family owned contractor Osborne in early 2009.
In 2007 Tony Douglas quit his role as BAA chief executive officer of Heathrow and joined Laing O’Rourke as its chief operating officer. Industry insiders tipped Douglas to be Ray O’Rourke’s successor. Two years later, however, Douglas left Laing O’Rourke amid mounting evidence that Ray had no plans to step back from the day to day business of the firm. Douglas became chief executive officer at Abu Dhabi Ports Company in June 2010.
Bovis Lend Lease recruited Nick Pollard from Skanska as its chief operating officer in 2007. A year later he was promoted to the chief executive position. In the summer of 2010, however, Dan Labbad, who had headed up Lend Lease’s development business in Europe, saw his role expanded to include direct responsibility for Bovis. An ensuing restructuring effectively saw Pollard’s role demoted, and his departure from the firm was announced in June 2010.
Pollard re-emerged in January 2011 at Navigant Consulting after being appointed as the head of its international construction practice.
Jason Millett was made chief executive of Bovis just before his 40th birthday. He joined the company in 1986 as graduate trainee before rising to the top role in 2005.
After only 18 months in the job Millett left the firm suddenly in August 2006. Problem contracts later led to a £48m write-down. After a spell at Manchester based contractor Artisan, Millett was recruited by Mace in 2008 to work on the construction of Olympic venues as part of delivery partner CLM.
Martin Tidd became managing director of Multiplex’s UK construction arm in 2004. In his role he oversaw much of the work on the troubled construction of Wembley Stadium. Tidd stepped down from his position in 2006 after Multiplex confirmed it would focus on work for the firm’s development arm, rather than targeting outside contracts.In early 2007 he formed Primus Build with Simon Cook. The London-based firm recently doubled in size after picking up £80m of contracts from collapsed firm Rok.
Amec poached Steve Bowcott, managing director of Mowlem’s construction division, to head its infrastructure arm in 2003. Bowcott left abruptly in June 2005 following claims that he awarded PR contracts worth £250,000 to a firm owned by his wife.
Kier hired Bowcott as a director for their regional department in 2007. Since then he has become managing director of Kier’s construction division, the arm previously headed up by current chief executive Paul Sheffield.