Chief executive names trio of insiders in line to succeed him when he hands over the reigns

Mace chief executive Stephen Pycroft has revealed he will step down from the top job in five years.

He plans to leave the £700m-turnover consultant by the time he is 55 and named three company directors in the frame to replace him.

Pycroft (pictured) said: “I am 50 and I think at around 55 I would hand the reins to someone else – Mark Holmes, Mark Reynolds or Gareth Lewis (see below).

“Part of a strong business is succession planning and they have all been brought to a level where they could replace me as chief executive.”

He added that his successor would almost certainly come from within the company as part of its policy of not hiring outsiders for top jobs.

There was speculation last June that the company was for up sale or seeking a new investor but that a deal could not be agreed before the capital gains tax deadline in April.

Pycroft dismissed the suggestion but conceded that he might consider a sale or joint venture if the right group came along, offering the right price.

Mace is expected to turn over £700m this year, a figure that has been reduced from £800m owing to the recession.

The firm will next consider in March whether any further job cuts need to be made after 85 staff were made redundant in the UK and UAE at the end of last year.

In the year ended 31 December 2007, Mace boosted turnover by 43%, from £372m to £531m.

Pre-tax profit grew 46%, from £7.4m to £10.8m.

The group is on the verge of securing a role as main contractor on the Shard tower in London – it will be the group’s first fixed-price deal, for about £425m.

Read a full interview with Stephen Pycroft.

Pycroft's protégés

  • Mark Holmes Joined 1992. Key role in setting up UK project management and consultancy business. Drove company’s entry into public sector
  • Mark Reynolds Joined 1990. Responsible for infrastructure and deputy programme director for CLM Olympic delivery partnership
  • Gareth Lewis Joined 1994. Had operational control of T5 project. Director responsible for construction management, technology and aviation sectors