Jacobs said Cooper would try to build the service division's strength by focusing on partnering and negotiated projects with high added value.
He added that his own role would be "to work with the board and regional managing directors to implement further streamlining. This final stage will focus on the construction division to bring performance in line with the rest of Ballast Nedam".
Ballast will open an office to the north of England to extend its construction market coverage. The UK arm had previously closed its loss-making stadium and property development business, shedding 400 jobs. Further reorganisation will cut another 275 jobs to reduce overheads.
This will focus on the construction division to bring its performance in line with the rest of Ballast Nedam
Ruud Jacobs, managing director, Ballast
Ballast began the restructuring after making a pre-tax loss of £32m in the first half of last year. This was reduced to £9.7m in the first half of 2003.
Ballast's Dutch parent has returned a profit after two loss-making years. In the interim results announced last week, it showed a profit of £2.1m, after shedding 880 jobs over the past year. Turnover decreased £122m to £562m.
The results statement said: "The reorganisation is taking place under increasingly difficult market circumstances in the Dutch home market. Nonetheless, the Dutch construction divisions have realised higher results in the first half-year."
The company declined to comment on the future of the UK arm. Ballast has been up for sale for more than a year.