Mowlem has had the plug pulled on its plan to make Garvis Snook director of its southern building operations in a surprise coup by listed contractor EBC.

Snook, who was due to start at Mowlem this month, took over as chief executive of £80m-turnover EBC this Monday.

Snook, formerly managing director of Yeovil-based Morgan Sindall subsidiary Stansell, informed Mowlem of his decision to take up the rival offer in April.

Snook had been appointed by Mowlem’s former building boss Brian May to head the whole of Mowlem’s southern operations.

However, according to sources close to the company, Snook decided not to join after it became clear that May’s successor, Steve Bowcott –who took over in March – had offered him a diminished role covering only the South-west region.