John Cresswell, current non-executive director of Capita, has been appointed as non-executive chairman, effective from the start of November.
Cresswell, who is also operating advisor at investment bank Lazard Asset Management, joins as the specialist engineering and civils contractor targets further growth on the back of strong recent trading.
Last year revenue at the business rose 14% to £1.3bn, generating an operating profit of £22m while net cash reserves soared to £217m from £174m.
He said: “I feel extremely privileged to take on this role at such a transformative time for Murphy and the construction and engineering industry.
“Murphy is values-led, has a reputation for quality delivery, and a strong balance sheet.
“The Group has a clear longer-term ambition to be the leading family-owned construction business and a solid strategy to get there. I am excited to be able to play a part in that journey.”
Cresswell brings substantial executive advisory experience to Murphy, having also served as CEO of Bibby Line Group, Arqiva and ITV.
Murphy chief executive John Murphy said: “John has more than 30 years experience leading and developing organisations across a broad range of industry sectors, making him an ideal person for this role.
“There is strong cultural alignment between John and the Murphy family, and I look forward to working closely with him to continue the standard set by Alastair Kerr.