Multiplex has reshuffled its management team in an attempt to silence critics who called for more transparency in the wake of the £48m loss on Wembley stadium.
The firm has shifted the balance of the board in favour of independent directors by accepting the resignation of John Corcoran as an executive director on the board, where he sat as chief financial officer. He will take up the role of chief investments officer, which is not a board position.
This means that the board now has a majority of five non-executive directors, compared with four executive directors, including three members of the founding Roberts family.
It follows calls from the investment market in Australia for better corporate governance after the company downgraded profit expecatations.
Shares in the firm, which is listed on the Australian stock exchange, rose 7% to A$3.53 (£1.51) when the changes were announced on Monday. Andrew Roberts, Multiplex chief executive, played down Corcoran’s departure from the board and said that the role of chief investments officer had been created because of the changing nature of the business.
He said: “Multiplex has grown substantially since listing on the Australian stock exchange in December 2003. Since then, a number of sizeable project opportunities have arisen that did not previously exist.”
It is the latest in a string of board changes since Multiplex revealed the extent of its problems at Wembley in May. Most recently last month Multiplex appointed James Tuckey as an independent non-executive director in the UK business. Tuckey is deputy chairman of English Partnerships and had been chief executive of investor and developer MEPC for 11 years.
His appointment is seen as an attempted to address concerns that the company had expanded too quickly in the UK market. Noel Henderson resigned as an executive director on the board in May, and executive chairman John Roberts changed his role to become an executive director. Allan McDonald stepped up from the role of deputy chairman to non-executive chairman.
On the Multiplex board
Chief executive Andrew Roberts
Founder and executive director John Roberts
Executive director and managing director Tim Roberts (development)
Executive director Ross McDiven
Non-executive chairman Allan McDonald
Non-executive directors Peter Dransfield, John Poynton, James Tuckey, Barbara Ward