Rob Drury, southern regional director, follows his counterpart in northern arm out of the door

The director of Costain’s southern region has left the company within weeks of the departure of his counterpart in the northern region.

It emerged this week that Rob Drury left “by mutual consent”. Kevin Watson, northern regional director, left at the end of last month to join Willmott Dixon as operations director.

Another key regional figure, Anthony Dillon, left earlier this year, also to join Willmott Dixon.

The departures come after Andrew Wyllie, Costain’s chief executive, decided to focus the company around sectors rather than regions, thereby bringing it under tighter centralised control.

Sources close to the company say that Wyllie’s strategy, known as Being Number One, has provoked unrest among regional figures, who are reluctant to relinquish control of contracts.

A Costain spokesperson said: “We continue to recruit good quality people. Obviously in our transformation to a sector-led business some people will leave.”

It is understood that Drury will continue to provide consultancy services to Costain in front-line management areas, including contract advice, on a freelance basis. Watson, who supervised much of Costain’s education work in the North, will be primarily focused on the east Midlands for Willmott Dixon.

The Being Number One strategy was introduced by Wylie in March 2006 to improve profitability. Costain made a £62m pre-tax loss for the year to 31 December 2006 after an £11.9m writedown in the building division and writedowns linked to the closure of the international division. Performances in the building and oil and gas arms was also poor.

The refocusing has resulted in about 40 redundancies at the firm’s building division, which employs 600 staff.

Costain will report interim results for the half year to 30 June in September. In a trading update issued last week, the company said its building division had made a steady improvement during the period.