Gordon Ray has quit as commercial director at Jarvis. Ray, who took over the role when Rob Johnson left last August, has joined Australian contractor and developer Multiplex.

A spokesperson for Jarvis said that Ray’s former responsibilities would be split between the procurement, finance and group secretarial teams. Jarvis is not expected to appoint a new commercial director.

Shares in the company were particularly volatile this week, up by almost 30% on Tuesday at 14.25p and then falling again by 10.5% to 12.5p on Wednesday.

Analysts said fluctuations could partly be explained by the fact that Jarvis picked up a track renewal contract on a stretch of the West Coast Main Line after Network Rail banned Mowlem from rail renewals.

A source close to the firm said the sale of its £24.5m European roads business to French firm Colas was imminent, now French authorities had given it the go-ahead.