Present group chief executive Graham Prothero intends to step down from Galliford Try on completion of the deal to become chief operating officer of Bovis Homes.
Hocking has been chief executive of construction for the last three years. Before that he spent 26 years at Skanska, first as director of the civil engineering arm and later becoming executive vice president of Skanska UK.
In the last set of annual results construction contributed £1.42bn to Galliford Try Group, but suffered a pre-exceptional operating loss of £18m, reflecting £33m of fresh write-downs taken on a number of contracts following the strategic review of the construction business undertaken in the year.
Hocking will use the £300m cash raised from the sale of housing operations to cancel outstanding bank debt.
Around £150m left to finance the ongoing working capital needs of the remaining independent contractor
which will employ around 3,400 staff.