A company insider said that once news had broken that Houson was being lured away by Skanska, Carillion had acted swiftly.
The source said: "Carillion has offered Houson a bigger role. He will become Carillion's national operation director, and look after the whole construction portfolio."
The source said that Skanska had headhunted Houson as he had a "wealth of experience" managing PFI health schemes.
The source said: "Houson oversaw one of the first PFI health schemes ever delivered at Dartford in Kent. Skanska recognised this but Carillion has moved quickly to keep him."