Former army brigadier spent more than nine years on railway scheme

Sir Robert McAlpine has brought in a new boss of its defence business with a former army brigadier joining from HS2 to head up the division.

Mike Hickson was most recently land and property director at HS2, having joined that scheme as programme director for the central section of the route between London and Birmingham.

He spent 30 years in the army and rose to brigadier at the permanent joint HQ Northwood in north-west London before becoming director of the Royal Logistic Corps.

Mike Hickson

Mike Hickson left the army in 2012 after a 30 year career, joining Fluor and later HS2

He left the military in 2012 and spent nearly three years at US firm Fluor where he was logistics director.

McAlpine said Hickson will “be responsible for setting and delivering the company’s defence strategy. This forms an essential part of growing the infrastructure business unit, one of the company’s core sectors.”

He will report to executive managing director of infrastructure Tony Gates who said: “[Hickson] will be an invaluable asset to Sir Robert McAlpine and the right fit to build our defence business.”

The news of Hickson’s arrival comes after McAlpine yesterday confirmed 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 in February by former Lendlease boss Neil Martin.