Paul Heather expected to join Sir Robert McAlpine

Skanska’s UK head office

A second senior figure at Skanska is set to leave a week after the firm confirmed the head of its building operations had quit after more than three decades at the firm.

Building understands the contractor’s London and South East building boss Paul Heather is expected to join Sir Robert McAlpine as that firm’s head of its London operations – a role previously held by Vince Corrigan who left at the beginning of last year to join demolition and civils specialist Keltbray.

Both Skanska and McAlpine declined to comment but one source said the move “was an open secret”. The source added: “He’s been on his way for a while now. I’m surprised it’s taken this long.”

Heather has been with the business since 1998 when he joined as senior surveyor. Six years ago, he became managing director of Skanska UK’s private construction business and became a member of its UK senior management team.

He succeeded a spot vacated by Paul Chandler who was moved up to the firm’s executive management team in 2010 where he held executive responsibility for all of the contractor’s UK building operations.

Last week, Skanska confirmed that Chandler was leaving after 34 years at the business. He is understood to have lined up a senior role at Wates. A spokeswoman for Wates said the firm did not comment on speculation.

Wates recently launched Wates Residential a new housing development business after separating the group’s new-build housing division and its social housing maintenance business.