Hughes, 53, takes up the role in January at the £300m revenue business, joining from petrol station and food retailer EG Group where he helped grow that business to revenues of over £20bn, firstly in his capacity as chief financial officer and more latterly as chief strategy officer.
Before that he was previously group chief financial officer of recycling company EMR, and prior to that worked in the Caudwell Group and HomeServe businesses.
Hughes will grow the OCU group, which was formed in 1994 and has main offices in Manchester, and London, and 15 strategically located operating centres, operating with a work force in excess of 2,400 staff.
Tim and Tom O’Connor, owners of OCU Group, will remain in the business in the capacity of chairman and chief operating officer respectively.
Hughes will work closely with John McVeigh, executive director of Instalcom, Adrian O’Sullivan and Vince Bowler, managing directors of OCU Group’s operating businesses O’Connor Utilities and Instalcom, to grow the businesses.
Tim O’Connor said: “We are excited to welcome Michael to the OCU Group business. Michael has a proven track record in developing and executing growth strategies across a number of industries, and we believe Michael will work well with our existing management teams in supporting our future development and ambitious growth plans”.