Paul Sims hailed as ‘truly outstanding operator’ by new employer

Paul Sims, the Lendlease veteran who left the firm earlier this year after 40 years at the business, has joined Sir Robert McAlpine as operations director.

His arrival is the first significant one from new chief executive Neil Martin’s former employer and will see Sims work with commercial director Glen Harding.

Building understands he began work last week and one source said: “I think the idea is that he gives it [McAlpine] a bit of a health check.”

Paul Sims - Operations Director

Paul Sims spent 40 years at Lendlease, first joining when it was known as Bovis Construction

Martin took up the reins at McAlpine in February, having left Lendlease last year and in the process cutting an on-off link to the firm that stretched back to 1990.

Speaking about Sims’ arrival, Grant Findlay, McAlpine’s executive managing director for buildings, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Paul Sims to Sir Robert McAlpine. Paul has a reputation for being a truly outstanding operator and will help cement the company’s continued growth within our target sectors. He’s a natural fit for Sir Robert McAlpine.”

Sims added: “Sir Robert McAlpine is immensely well-respected within the construction sector and works with some really fantastic clients, so this felt like the perfect move. I look forward to getting stuck in, building on client relationships and helping the firm go from strength to strength.”

Sims was operations director at Lendlease when he left and in a post on LinkedIn announcing his departure, he wrote: “It is with a warm heart that I have closed my chapter with Bovis Construction and latterly Lendlease. After serving almost four decades with the company through its many iterations, the time is now right to leave the business in the safe hands of its new leaders.

“In the process I’ve created long lasting friendships that I know will continue to grow. But now, I’m really looking forward to new challenges and pursuing new opportunities.”


Neil Martin, seen here with company chair Ed McAlpine, has already begun to ring the changes since arriving at the firm in February

He said that by the time he left Lendlease his role was “developing new client relationships and continuing to provide support to our longstanding established key clients”.

Last week, McAlpine announced that it had brought in a new boss of its defence business with a former army brigadier Mike Hickson joining from HS2 to head up the division.

And the firm also confirmed last week that the boss of its commercial arm was leaving after less than a year in post.

Mike O’Donnell, who spent nearly 17 years at McAlpine before leaving in 2019, rejoined the group last spring under a rejig initiated by the then chief executive Paul Hamer who was replaced by Martin.

McAlpine said that Mark Taylor, who worked on McAlpine’s Battersea Power Station scheme and was appointed managing director of its major projects arm under Hamer’s rejig, would now head up a combined commercial and major projects team.