Samir Brikho has been named as chief executive of Amec, ending Sir Peter Mason’s 10-year reign at the support services giant.

Brikho, head of the power systems division at energy firm ABB and chairman of the international projects business ABB Lummus, will take the helm in October.

Howard Seymour, an analyst at Bridgewell Securities, said Mason had picked “a good time to go” given the planned separation of Amec into two businesses.

He said: “In his 10 years he has transformed the business but I still think it’s very accident-prone.”

Brikho will be overseeing the final stages of the demerger in a bid to reduce Amec’s debt and increase profitability.

In May, Amec sold its French engineering arm Spie to private equity group PAI Partners for £707m. The next stage of this restructuring will be the breakaway of the energy and nuclear divisions headed by Brikho. This will leave Amec’s PPP contracts and infrastructure jobs in a separate business, run by director John Early.

Some of Amec’s recent PFI projects have lost money. The cancellation of the £167m Colchester General Hospital cost Amec £7m in bid and design costs. It also made a £78m pre-tax write-down last week, adding to the £70m pre-tax hit announced in November.

Brikho joined ABB in 1983 and has held senior positions at many of ABB’s subsidiaries, including Alstom Kraftwerke. He became a member of ABB’s executive committee in January.

Jock Green-Armytage, chairman of Amec, said of Brikho: “His experience and success in a major international company of the calibre of ABB, together with his personal dynamism, ideally qualifies him to take Amec forward.”

As Building went to press, Amec was due to announce its interim results.

In a trading update published last month, Mason announced that the first half would be weaker than anticipated but it was on track to reach full year expectations. It will make a £35m post-tax provision, associated with charges and contract provisions related to historic construction contracts. Mason added that it was making a further £30m provision over future legal costs.