Laing O’Rourke unveils big business shake-up

Aaron Morby 8 years ago
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Laing O’Rourke is being split into separate construction and manufacturing divisions as part of a radical shake-up to turn around the business.

Ray O'Rourke restructures group ahead of Australian business sell-off
Ray O'Rourke restructures group ahead of Australian business sell-off

Chairman Ray O’Rourke has appointed three key operational chiefs to head a new management structure designed to get the group back on track for 5% margin by 2018.

The firm agreed the streamlining plan with its financial backers last month, contingent on target margins being achieved on a major project.

In a circular to staff, Ray O’Rourke said: “Since April, the European business portfolio has been organised to be a streamlined business, which is operationally focussed, putting projects at the heart of everything, and placing the best delivery people on them, supported by a lean and effective functional overhead.

“This will drive greater control and productivity through all operations.”

By next month the firm aims to complete a round of 200 staff redundancies. It also plans to strengthen its balance sheet with proceeds from the sale of its profitable Australian operation, which O’Rourke said was progressing in line with expectations.

Laing O’Rourke will now focus on major projects and strategic frameworks to deliver its five-year business plan.

Under the new business structure, the old geographical European and Australian hubs are replaced with two main operating divisions.

Laing O'Rourke chiefs Sheffield, Dye. Harley

Operational trio: Paul Sheffield, Engineering Enterprise; Stephen Harley, Asset Business; Barry Dye, Commercial Function

Former Europe Hub boss Paul Sheffield becomes managing director of mainstream construction, which is now called Engineering Enterprise.

The director of Advanced Manufacturing Steve Harley is elevated to managing director of the other new division, called the Asset Business. His promotion, which sees him join the group board, comes just two years after joining from from Ford Motors where he was material planning and logistics chief.

The Asset Business will incorporate high-value businesses like Crown House and Select Plant, as well as the Explore Manufacturing facilities.

These two divisions will be underpinned by a new commercial unit covering work winning, commercial management and legal matters.

In another significant promotion, Barry Dye rises to group commercial director, heading the unit and joining the main group executive board.

Laing O’Rourke new divisional structure

Engineering Enterprise

(Construction and infrastructure project delivery businesses, Expanded, The Middle East and Canada)
Paul Sheffield as managing director, reporting directly to Ray O’Rourke.
Liam Cummins heads Construction, John Wilkinson – Infrastructure, Declan McGeeney – Expanded, and Mark Andrews – Middle East.

Asset Businesses

(Explore Manufacturing, Crown House Technologies and Crown House Manufacturing, Select Plant and Logistics, and Procurement)
Stephen Harley as managing director, reporting directly to Ray O’Rourke.
Nathan Dijkstra heads Concrete Products, Paul McNerney – Crown House Technologies, CHM, and Select, Jurrien Heynan – Logistics, and Andy Bacon – Procurement.

The Commercial Function is led by Barry Dye as new group commercial director and he is also a member of the Group Executive Committee. Dye has several direct reports including Work Winning, Commercial Management and Legal.

Laing O’Rourke’s group executive now consists of Ray O’Rourke (Chairman & CEO); Des O’Rourke (Deputy Chairman); Stewart McIntyre (Group Finance); Paul Sheffield (Engineering Enterprise); Stephen Harley (Asset Business); Paul Westbury (Group Technical); Cathal O’Rourke (Australia); John O’Connor (Human Capita)l; Barry Dye (Group Commercial); Nick Jordan (Company Secretary), and Gerry Loftus (Senior Independent Director).

Ray’s son Cathal O’Rourke is now expected to remain in Australia when the sale is completed and leave the group board.

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