Former CEO had stepped down from her role in December 2015 due to ill health

Former Laing O’Rourke chief executive Anna Stewart has passed away aged 53 after a long battle with illness. 

Stewart was appointed to the lead role in April 2013, having being chief financial and commercial officer at the time. 

However, the firm announced in December 2015 that she was stepping down from her position with immediate effect due to ill health.

Stewart joined Laing Construction in 1982 as a trainee. She became group commercial director in 2004 before finance responsbilities were added to her duties in 2010.

Founder and chief executive Ray O’Rourke said: “Anna is one of the most impressive and intelligent people I have had the pleasure of working with. Her loyalty and decades of service will not be forgotten.

“Her passing will be felt deeply across Laing O’Rourke and in the wider industry. She was a trailblazer, an advocate for better practice across the construction sector, and a mentor and inspiration to many.

“She approached her illness with bravery and stoicism, a trademark of her character.

“I am devastated by the news, and on behalf of the Group extend my condolences to her whole family. We are very sorry for their loss, and whilst respecting their privacy, have offered her family our total support and assistance at this intensely distressing time.”