Industry figurehead Sir Christopher Wates, head of one of the last large family-owned contracting firms, is to be replaced by a someone from outside the Wates family.
Sir Christopher told Building: "We had a policy of appointing from wherever we think people have the best experience, whether from within the family or not. It is part of longer-term planning within the family. I am 60 now, which is the time when we think executives should move on."

He is to be replaced by BP Amoco's vice-president for technology and marketing and BP Bovis Alliance chairman Struan Robertson.

Sir Christopher will become chairman of Wates Holdings, the company which oversees all Wates family investments.

He added that the Wates Group would be looking to invest further in its housebuilding division and was keen to get more PFI contracts.

Non-executive chairman Michael Wates is also retiring. He is to be replaced by Wates group director Andrew Wates.