Incoming Atkins chief executive Keith Clarke will meet senior employees later this month.
Clarke, executive vice president at Skanska, will not join Atkins until October but intends to introduce himself to key staff from the week after next.

Clarke said that Skanska was disappointed with his decision to leave but had been understanding. He said: "It wasn't particularly happy, but it was supportive – I'm only working three months of what is a formal 12 months' notice period. I had probably outlived my usefulness there to a degree."

He dismissed talk that he would struggle to establish a strong relationship with chairman Mike Jeffries. Clarke said: "I'm very comfortable with Mike. I like people who are a bit pushy. I find it easier; it's more fun."

Clarke was speaking after Atkins' annual results last week.

After a disastrous 12 months caused by an IT systems failures, the company posted a pre-tax loss of £61.6m – last year it had a pre-tax profit of £20.9m.

But Jeffries said that the business was essentially strong. He said: "The board is confident that the benefits from the group's cost reduction programme and stronger focus on operations will lead to a significant recovery in performance."