Tim Askew's return to UK sparks international manager reshuffle

Atkins' head of Middle East Tim Askew has returned to the UK, where he will become managing director of the group’s water and environment business. Richard Barrett, currently managing director for Atkins’s European business, will now run the Middle East.

Askew’s move follows the return of other Middle East bosses from Dubai, including EC Harris’s former regional head Mark Prior and the managing director of Carillion’s Middle East business, which includes a joint venture with the UAE’s Al-Futtaim, Richard Howson. Howson is now executive director of Carillion and responsible for the firm’s UK building and Middle East businesses.

Chris Birdsong will become managing director of Atkins’s European portfolio in addition to his role as MD of the group’s management consultantcy business. Graham Roberts, currently MD of water and environment, will retire from engineering consultancy “to pursue wider career interests”, a statement from Atkins said.

Keith Clarke, chief executive said: “We have been working hard over the past year to ensure that Atkins comes out of these challenging economic times stronger and positioned for future growth. These changes are designed to help us do this.”

The new roles will start from 1 April 2010.