Man who helped win Wembley and Olympic stadium jobs quits architect to take up post in Abu Dhabi

A key director at HOK Sport, the designer of the 2012 Olympic stadium, has left the company as it emerged that the practice made a loss in the past two years.

Barry Lowe, who was in charge of business development, was instrumental in winning the contracts to design the Olympic and Wembley stadiums, as well at the O2 arena.

He joined HOK Sport in 1997 and rose to become principal before leaving his full-time role in January to act as a consultant for the practice. He has now left it completely, and it is understood that he will take up a role at John Buck International, an Abu Dhabi-based developer.

A source close to the practice said: “Barry was one of the key marketing guys at HOK Sport. He made the difference on lots of those deals. The directors wanted him to stay, but he got a better opportunity.”

HOK Sport’s accounts, recently released to Companies House, reveal that the practice made a loss of almost £120,000 during the past financial year.

Pre-tax losses at the firm amounted to £119,360 in the year to 31 December 2007, compared with a loss of £22,130 the year before. Turnover dropped slightly from £9.13m in 2006 to £9.10m.

HOK Sport managed to find more work outside Europe in 2007 than it had before, with a turnover of £475,259 in Africa, Australasia, the Middle East and Russia. In 2006, that figure was £172,997.

HOK Sport’s directors funded a management buyout in September, making it independent from HOK International, its US parent.

It intends to change its name and branding when the buyout is completed towards the end of the year.