Tony Douglas, the former chief operating officer of Laing O’Rourke, has been appointed a non-executive director of demolition contractor Keltbray

Douglas, who presided over Laing O’Rourke’s European, Asian and Middle Eastern divisions, left the company in November, amid reports that he was frustrated at not being given more responsibility.

His departure followed a prolonged period of uncertainty at the firm, which saw a tentative deal struck between Douglas and chairman and chief executive Ray O’Rourke to allow him to stay. But Douglas left after it became clear O’Rourke was to take direct control of the firm.

Douglas has been linked with jobs at the Royal Mail, Kier and Global Infrastructure Partners – the owner of Gatwick airport – since his departure, but this is the first role he has taken. He said: “I am delighted to be joining the board of Keltbray. It is an innovative business leading its sector, and I look forward to working with the team towards its continued growth and success.”

Brendan Kerr, chief executive of Keltbray, said: “Douglas’ extensive experience of significant UK infrastructure projects and international business will greatly contribute to our plans.”