Chief operating officer Dave Smith will leave the company at the end of the year

Wates’ chief operating officer Dave Smith has quit the firm after 32 years.

In a statement the contractor said Smith would step down from the role, as well as group managing director of the firm’s construction group and his group board roles with immediate effect. He will leave the company at the end of the year.

Wates chief executive Andrew Davies will assume Smith’s responsibilities in the interim, but the firm said arrangements “are in place to appoint a successor”.

Earlier this month it emerged Skanska buildings boss Paul Chandler was leaving that firm, with his next destination understood to be Wates, although Building has no information to suggest Chandler will take on Smith’s role.

Smith started his career in construction as a surveyor at Sir Robert McAlpine, before joining Wates in 1985.

He later led Wates’ specialist refurbishment division in London and in 1999 he became MD of Wates’ public sector business and in 2005 he was appointed MD of the construction business, taking responsibility for the company’s education, commercial and public sector work.

He joined the Wates group board in October 2009.

Andrew Davies, chief executive of Wates Group, said: “Dave has served the Wates Group with diligence, energy and commitment for the past 32 years and has made a substantial and significant contribution to our business. We thank him and wish him well for the future.”

Wates confirms that arrangements are in place to appoint a successor. Pending further announcements, Andrew Davies will assume responsibility for the Construction Group and will chair the Construction Strategy Board