Chandler joins from Skanska where he spent 34 years and was head of the firm’s UK building operations.
He replaces Wates veteran Dave Smith who is stepping down from the company after 32 years.
Wates CEO Andrew Davis said: “Paul has built an enviable reputation for delivering large and complex projects with a keen emphasis on operational excellence.
“He also brings enormous experience in sustainability and diversity and inclusion, areas which we have always valued at Wates, and which are becoming increasingly important to our customers.
“I am delighted that Paul has agreed to join the Wates team and look forward to working with him on the many opportunities ahead.”
Chandler said: “I am delighted to be joining the Wates Group at an exciting time in its growth strategy.
“Wates has a great reputation across a number of sectors with strong performance across all its operations.
“I look forward to bringing my experience to bear on the next stage of the Construction Group’s development alongside my new colleagues.”
Sir Robert McAlpine also confirmed some senior changes today with London Regional Manager Grant Findlay promoted to the national role of Head of Preconstruction for the Building Division.
McAlpine also officially confirmed Paul Heather will be joining from Skanska to take on the London regional role.