National shake-up continues as Coleman replaces Colin Harvey with Australian Peter Varga

Bovis Lend Lease has reorganised its northern business after taking £48m worth of hits on contracts in the region.

On Monday Colin Harvey was removed as head of the northern division. Peter Varga will serve as interim head until a permanent replacement has been appointed.

Varga moved to the UK business as operations director in the north in October. Before that he worked for 13 years in Australia and Asia. Bovis said Varga was taking over temporarily and was not in the running for the permanent position.

She added that he was considered a specialist in the project management of complex design-and-build projects. Varga’s last position at the company was group executive of the transport and infrastructure group in Australia

Harvey, who has been at Bovis for 11 years and head of the northern business for two years, remains at the company but his future there has not been decided.

The £48m writedown was made by Bovis primarily because of problems at the Manchester Joint Hospitals PFI scheme and the Bridgewater Place tower in Leeds.

The spokesperson said : “The opportunity for him [Harvey] to continue with the company exists and he will see Bridgewater Place, which is nearing completion, through to the end.”

This is the latest in a string of management changes made by Murray Coleman since his appointment as Bovis’ UK chief executive last summer. In November he appointed Julian Daniel to replace John Howell as the head of the southern division. Howell left the company last week after 35 years.

In an internal memo to staff this week, Coleman said: “Last November I announced a series of appointments designed to establish a clear line of sight into the business and enable me to continually assess how we can improve and evolve our skills and solutions.

“As part of this ongoing assessment I am now announcing a change of leadership for UK North.”
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