Speculation about who will succeed Sir Peter Mason to the top job at Amec took a twist last week when the contractor announced that an American businessman was to join the board
Sources close to the company said that Carlos Riva, a 49-year-old businessman with a background in the power industry, had joined the list of internal candidates to succeed Mason when he turns 60 in four years' time. Another prime contender is Jean Monville, chairman and chief executive of Amec's French subsidiary Spie.

Riva will replace director David Robson when he retires in July. He will assume Robson's duties as chief executive of Amec Group, the company's UK-based engineering and construction operations. He will also take responsibility of Amec's operations in the Americas.

Riva joins Amec from InterGen, a global power generation firm based in the USA, where he was chief executive officer. InterGen is a joint venture between Shell and Bechtel with power operations throughout Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

I am confident Riva will make a major contribution

Sir Peter Mason, chief executive, Amec

Prior to joining InterGen, Riva was president and chief operating officer from 1985 to 1995 of J Makowski, a Boston-based energy group.