Christmas jumpers: 2013 saw the exit of several big names. We look at some of the ones that made news this year

Paul Drechsler

Paul Drechsler

Ian Tyler and Mike Peasland, Balfour Beatty

The year kicked off with the surprise announcement that Ian Tyler was stepping down as chief executive of Balfour Beatty and would be replaced by Andrew McNaughton. Under Tyler, Balfour Beatty trebled in size and has diversified globally through acquisitions such as Parsons Brinckerhoff in 2009. Then in April it was announced as part of a major shake-up of the business that UK construction boss Mike Peasland was to step down to become managing director of the regional business. It was later confirmed that Peasland will leave Balfour Beatty completely in January 2014. He has been replaced as head of construction services by former Bovis Lend Lease boss Nick Pollard.

Paul Drechsler, Wates

The revelation in April by Building of Paul Drechsler’s departure from Wates was probably the biggest shock move of the year. Drechsler, who had been chairman and chief executive at the family-owned firm since joining from ICI in 2004, will start as chief executive of teacher training body Teach First in January, allowing James Wates to take control of the construction group as chairman. The managing director of BAE Systems’ maritime business division, Andrew Davies, has been appointed chief executive, starting in January.

Simon Hipperson and Michael Dyke, Lend Lease

Simon Hipperson, chief executive in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for the Australian contractor-developer, was merely the most high-profile of a number of senior figures to depart the firm in 2013. His exit in November after just a year in the role followed that of construction boss Michael Dyke in May. Dyke was replaced by Neil Martin, and Hipperson will be replaced part-time by former EMEA chief executive Dan Labbad.

Steve Elliott and David Mulligan, Morgan Sindall

Elliott departed as the boss of Morgan Sindall’s successful fit-out division, which includes brands Overbury and Morgan Lovell. Elliott had run Overbury from 1996 before being appointed to the group role and will be replaced by Chris Booth. Morgan Sindall’s finance director, David Mulligan also left in January this year.

Mike Farley, Persimmon

In post for seven years, a period that included the whole of the credit crunch and subsequent recession, the end of Mike Farley’s tenure as chief executive was announced in January. The former managing director of the the housebuilder’s northern division, Jeff Fairburn, was appointed group chief executive.

Mairi Johnson, Education Funding Agency

The design chief of the Education Funding Agency was poached by consultant Aecom in November, in a major coup for the firm. Johnson had led the design work at the EFA during the introduction of baseline designs following the culling of the Building Schools for the Future programme.

Mark Farrar, CITB

Farrar had been chief executive of the construction industry skills body for seven years when the body said he would leave in April. Following his departure the organisation, which administers the £144m industry training levy, put a costly modernisation programme on ice and announced plans to cut staff.

David Higgins, Network Rail

The former boss of the Olympic Delivery Authority announced his plan to step down as chief executive of Network Rail in July, after just two years in the job. It subsequently emerged that he is to take the job of chair of the £42bn HS2 project, with a mandate to drive down costs.

John Watson, Bellway

Chief executive of the North east-based housebuilder since 1999, John Watson, 59, stepped down to become the company’s non-executive chair in February. His replacement in the post was Ted Ayres, the previous southern regional chairman who joined the housebuilder in 2002.

2013 was host to some spectacular successes. You can see our rundown of the year here, and our top 10 rundown of the best here. Alternatively, you can have a look at what we consider the biggest blunders of the year…

It was a dramatic year for others. It wouldn’t be Christmas without some family feuds in the industry. We said hello to some new people, and goodbye to others.

And of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without gifts … Some of the best presents are in our list here, but of course there’s the odd unwanted gift