Wainwright will join Wates next month after three years at Willmott Dixon where he was Group Finance Director.
He replaces Rod Holdsworth who joined Wates as interim CFO in November 2017 and will be handing over at the end of the month.
Wainwright began his career as a graduate engineer with Balfour Beatty, later qualifying as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young.
He has held financial and general management leadership roles with Byrne Group, Laing O’Rourke, Biwater Plc, National Grid and ED&F Man.
Wainwright left Willmott Dixon after deciding a restructuring meant his role was no longer broad enough.
David Allen, Wates Group Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming someone of Philip’s calibre and experience to the team.
“He has enjoyed great success with a number of leading businesses and will, I’m sure, make a real difference to our push to make Wates an even more sustainable, modern and trusted organisation.
“I would like to thank Rod Holdsworth for the substantial contribution he’s made over the last twelve months through his professional and diligent leadership of our finance and IT activities.
“He leaves with the thanks of the Board and the Executive Committee and with our best wishes for the future.”
Wainwright said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Wates as Chief Financial Officer at such an exciting time.
“I know Wates as an industry leading business, with an amazing heritage, a fantastic family ethos, and really exciting plans for the future, which are supported by one of the strongest financial track records in our sector.”