Bob White, chairman of construction consultant Mace, is to replace Dennis Lenard as chief executive of Constructing Excellence from September.

After months of internal arguments over the direction of the DTI-backed body, it has been decided that Lenard will not have his contract renewed when it expires this month. Don Ward will remain as deputy chief executive.

White said that the decision for Lenard to leave was “mutual”, and denied that the parties had parted on bad terms. However, he said that one factor behind the decision was Lenard’s reluctance to remain the head of a body that was becoming more reliant on commercial backing. The DTI cut its funding by one-third this year.

White said: “There are a number of reasons behind Dennis’ departure, including the fact that he feels he has done what he set out to do in terms of uniting industry bodies, and his desire to return to the wider commercial marketplace. However, the structure of the organisation changed slightly when it merged with Collaborating for the Built Environment earlier in the year, and Dennis was not that enthusiastic about running a membership organisation.”

White said that the decision for Lenard to leave was finally reached a month ago, after three months of talks between the two men and Strategic Forum chairman Peter Rogers.

Lenard will return to his native Australia for two months to advise on best practice, while looking at future opportunities there and in the UK. However, it is understood that he favours a return to Britain as soon as possible.

White said that he wanted to refocus the body’s activities so that it did not attempt to spread itself too thinly. He said that it was likely that the body would concentrate more on sustainability than it had done.