Costain’s commercial director has left the company “by mutual agreement”

Alistair Campbell is understood to have left the company within the past few weeks after more than five years at the firm. No replacement has been appointed, although it is understood that the company has been talking to an external figure about the role.

The exact reasons for Campbell’s departure are unclear, but a Costain spokesperson said that the director had left to pursue other opportunities.

He had worked under current chief executive Andrew Wyllie and his predecessor, Stuart Doughty, who left the company in 2005.

Campbell’s exit comes weeks after Costain reported a £23.1m profit for the year to 31 December 2008, recovering from a pre-tax loss of £61.7m in 2006.

A spokesperson said Campbell had left ‘by mutual agreement’ to pursue other opportunities

However, the building division, which was responsible for an £11.7m writedown at that time, has continued to be plagued by difficulties. It reported an operating loss of £5.2m on turnover of £285.6m in 2008, after a £800,000 profit the previous year. The loss was attributed to provisions made for cost overruns on “a small number of projects”, in particular on one residential scheme.

Wyllie said at that time: “The building and property development divisions are not providing the required level of returns … We have taken decisive actions to improve the performance of the division … and we anticipate an improvement in 2009.”

Campbell’s exit follows another senior departure, that of Jeremy Eavis, the education director, last November. Eavis headed Costain’s work on programmes such as the £400m Bradford Building Schools for the Future scheme.