Andrew Silverbeck is the second key director to leave the contractor in the space of a month

Andrew Silverbeck, Bovis Lend Lease’s global finance director, has resigned less than a month after it emerged that Jason Millett, the UK chief executive, was leaving.

Bovis insisted that this was simply “a career move” but there is speculation that Silverbeck’s departure was prompted by difficulties with Bob Johnston, the global chief executive, who took over last year and has since shaken up the business.

Silverbeck is taking up the post of group finance director at consultancy Environmental Resources Management.

Millett’s departure was a result of disagreement over Johnston’s shake-up, which includes the restructuring of the UK division into PFI and construction arms.

A spokesperson for Bovis said: “Andrew is very keen to emphasise that this is a career move. We will be announcing his successor in coming weeks.”

A source close to the company said: “Andrew has been looking for a job for the past six months. I think he was finding it difficult to work with Bob Johnston.”

Silverbeck handed in his resignation last week. He has been with Lend Lease since 1999, when he was poached from Bovis’ then-owner P&O.

He joined as chief financial officer of Lend Lease’s European construction and PFI operations.

A rising star at still only 37, Silverbeck was given the global Bovis job last year when Lend Lease reorganised its structure from three regional areas into three business units.

Silverbeck is leaving the group in October and it is expected that his successor will be promoted from within Bovis. A source close to the company said: “There are perfectly well-qualified internal people. There is nothing like a little local knowledge.”

However, it is known that the company has headhunters out looking for a number of senior personnel, including members of the finance team. The finance team will need a replacement for Andrew Kirkman, the head of corporate finance, who is leaving to join Balfour Beatty. The Bovis spokesperson said of Kirkman’s departure: “He has left of his own volition. He has been with us less than a year.”

Millett handed in his resignation because Johnston’s restructuring would have halved his role. He was responsible for PFI and construction work.

Johnston has taken over PFI work himself, while Murray Coleman has been flown in from Lend Lease’s headquarters in Australia to take over the construction side.