Sir John Parker to take over the role from Ray O’Rourke

Laing O’Rourke has appointed mining boss and FTSE 100 veteran Sir John Parker as chairman.

The contracting giant - which is working to bounce back from a £246m loss in its last set of accounts to March 2016 - said Parker would take up the role “later this year”, once he steps down from his role as chairman of mining conglomerate Anglo American.

Parker has led five FTSE 100-listed firms as chairman and is also a former chairman of the National Grid.

He will take over the chairman role from Laing O’Rourke founder Ray O’Rourke, who will continue as chief executive.

In the interim, Parker said he would familiarise himself with key Laing O’Rourke projects and clients.

A Laing O’Rourke spokesperson declined to comment on whether Parker’s appointment would be a precursor to a potential float on the London stock exchange.

O’Rourke said: “Sir John has built up an enviable reputation across a range of industrial sectors as a leader in the boardroom, including chairman at five FTSE100 companies.”

“As former President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a visiting Fellow at Oxford University, he takes a keen interest in the development of engineering technology and talent, a core value of our global business.

“I am excited to work closely with Sir John to make Laing O’Rourke the recognised leader for innovation and excellence in the construction industry.”

Parker said: “I am honoured to join such a progressive organisation, with compelling future plans.

“A culture of engineering excellence is deeply embedded at Laing O’Rourke. I have a deep respect for the organisation that Ray and Des O’Rourke built from scratch over the past 40 years.”