Executive partner will go to HOK less than a year after joining firm

Rob Firth will leave Austin-Smith:Lord for HOK later this month, less than a year after joining the firm.

Announcing a major restructure today, which will see the firm focus on five key divisions, Austin-Smith:Lord said post the review, executive partner Firth will leave to join HOK.

In a statement accompanying the announcement, Neil Musgrove, chair of the practice executive, said: “We are grateful to Robert for his recent time with us and assisting with this important task. We have always been a very strong design practice, now we have the business structure and planning to match.”

The firm will focus on divisions including transport, industry and infrastructure, renew, urban regeneration and international arts & culture.

Firth’s departure could come as a shock, as he has been at the firm for such a short period of time. He said: “It has been very impressive, the way the partnership has embraced a revised structure in such a short time and I anticipate the markets they are aiming at will suit the enormous expertise and experience within Austin-Smith:Lord. In focusing on their specialist work in key areas I am sure they are steering a successful course through the tough economic times ahead.”