Douglas McCormick will be in charge of 1,100 staff

Gleeds has said the firm’s 1,100 UK employees will be the responsibility of Douglas McCormick after the former WYG boss started work in a newly created role last Friday.

McCormick, who is based at the firm’s London office in Fitzrovia, has been appointed executive chair of the UK and will report to chief executive Graham Harle.

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In a statement, Gleeds said: “All UK employees will be under the leadership of Douglas McCormick and the UK structure will remain the same for the time being.”

McCormick (pictured) worked at Gleeds in the 1990s and in its statement, the firm added: “He understands our culture, vision and values and is best placed to move the UK business forward.”

The firm has 20 offices in the UK, stretching from Edinburgh down to Southampton, and McCormick is set to call in at them all by the spring.

It added: “He will be visiting each of the UK offices over the coming three months to understand more about our operations and markets at a regional level.”

The firm employs 2,000 people in all across 71 offices, including 51 overseas. Harle wants to open around five new offices a year across the business.

Gleeds added: “We need to be proactive in safeguarding the future of our business and ensuring we continue to grow in line with our global business plan.” The firm added McCormick had been appointed to “ensure the UK continues to grow at a similar rate to our global business”.

McCormick left Gleeds two decades ago to take up a series of high-profile roles including heading up Atkins’ rail arm before becoming chief executive of Sweett in 2015, the listed consultant that was bought by Currie & Brown for £29m in 2016.

He joined WYG the following year and, according to documents filed at Companies House, left the business in the middle of this month.

WYG, which was also listed, was bought last summer for £43m by US rival Tetra Tech, ending nearly 60 years of independence.