Home News Laing O’Rourke searching for new leader

Ray O’Rourke, the founder and chief executive of Laing O’Rourke, one of the UK’s leading contractors, has confirmed in an interview with the Financial Times that he is searching for a new chief executive to take the construction giant into its next phase of development.

Once the new chief executive is in post, Mr O’Rourke, aged 74, revealed that he is also considering floating the company within the next three years.

Mr O’Rourke had lined up Anna Stewart as a his successor as chief executive, but ill health forced her to step aside in 2015. Mr O’Rourke and his brother Des, aged 72, are the biggest shareholders in the company. Ray’s son Cathal is managing director at Laing O’Rourke Australia.

In its accounts for the year ending March 2020 the firm reported pre-tax profit of £45.5 million on sales of £2.4 billion. The new chief financial officer Rowan Baker indicated to Building magazine in December last year that Covid shutdowns  could see revenue fall  between 10% and 20% for the year to March 2021.

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