James Wates will be appointed non-executive chairman of the Wates Group board at the AGM later this month.
The company said: “The Wates Family has always planned to return to a family chairman role and it is part of the long-term Wates Family Enterprise strategy”
Drechsler has been chief executive for nearly ten years and chairman for seven.
Last month he revealed Wates pre-tax profits were down a third at £26m on turnover up 7% at £1.2bn.
Part of the fall came from a £5m restructuring cost of merging Wates’ Interiors and Retail businesses under a single management team and downsizing the construction division.
Wates said he will “step down” from his role towards the end of the year ensuring continuity.
Drechsler will “continue to lead the company and support James Wates during the transition process whilst the search for his successor as CEO is carried out.”
James Wates told the Enquirer: “Paul has made a huge difference to Wates in so many ways over the last ten years. He has been a key component in ensuring that despite a challenging economic environment, we are well placed now and for the future.
“He has been working with me to ready me for the role of Chairman and I’m delighted that he will continue to support me as we search for his successor as CEO.
“His values, enthusiasm, energy and dedication set the tone for our business and I know I speak for the Family and for colleagues across Wates when I say that we will all miss his considerable qualities when he moves on.”
Drechsler added: “When I started at Wates I was new to the world of family businesses and the Construction Industry; but I did know that I would be helping to write a new chapter for this unique business.
“It has been a privilege and an honour to have been Chairman during the transition from the 3rd to 4th generation of the Wates Family.
“Wates Group is a great business with people that I like, respect and value. In Wates it is the people that make the difference.”
The board has also recently been strengthened with the appointments of David Barclay and Deena Mattar as non-executive directors.