Interim chief will stay on group’s board

Osborne has appointed the boss of affordable housing provider Orbit as its new group chief executive.

Mark Hoyland will join the contractor early next year, with Dave Smith stepping down as interim boss.

Smith, a former Wates chief operating officer, returned to frontline leadership last November following the sudden departure of Andy Steele after just eight months in the job. Osborne chairman Andrew Osborne said Smith, who was originally brought into the business last year as a non-executive, will stay on the group board.

Mark Hoyland

Source: Osborne

Mark Hoyland will be the group’s third chief executive in a little over a year

Prior to working as group chief executive at Orbit, Hoyland was a managing director at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services and chief executive at CityWest Homes. He spent the early part of his career working at Wimpey.

The news comes just a few weeks after the firm’s veteran group marketing and communication director Richard King left after more than 38 years at the business having first joined as a project manager in 1984. He has since set up his own consultancy business.

Osborne has undergone a major rejig in a little over a year having sold its civil engineering arm 13 months ago.

The deal helped the firm back into the black last year – but losses from the business it has kept more than doubled to nearly £46m.

The firm sold its infrastructure division, which operated in the roads and rail market, to private equity last September making a £39.5m profit on the disposal which dragged the group to a £675,000 pre-tax profit in the year to September 2021 from a £15m loss in the 18 months to September 2020.

But the firm’s continuing construction operations, which includes housing maintenance and new build as well as education and some commercial work, saw pre-tax losses jump from £21m last time to £45.6m.

Turnover at the business slipped from £335m to £139m with the firm blaming the impact of the pandemic for the ballooning losses and falling workload.