Engineer appoints Peter Wickens as chairman and promotes three senior managers to board

Peter Wickens has been appointed chairman of Mott MacDonald in a boardroom shake-up aimed at doubling turnover to £1.4bn within the next five years.

Wickens will succeed Mike Blackburn, who has been chairman for almost four years. Blackburn will relocate to Beijing to lead the engineer’s expansion in China.

Keith Howells, the current managing director, and Kevin Stovell, group business development director, remain in place, but three senior managers have been promoted to the board: Richard Williams, Guy Leonard and Kevin Dixon.

Wickens said: “Our biggest challenge over the next few years is to grow and keep our talent. In this regard, our employee ownership structure is very powerful. Equally important is ensuring the company’s culture, mission and vision are shared by all staff around the world.”

Wickens, a 30-year veteran at Mott MacDonald, was chief executive of the group’s North America business, where he presided over a tenfold rise in turnover over the past 10 years.

Williams is head of the group’s global transportation business, and will now also oversee contracts, risk management, quality safety and environment.

Leonard will take responsibility for learning and development and internal communications in addition to the management and construction economics business.

Dixon, who heads the buildings and infrastructure business, will also lead the group’s property and sustainability divisions.

Baroness Tessa Blackstone and Jermyn Brooks remain as non-executive directors.