Top-tier shuffle at UK contractor Kier Group as CEO resigns

Top-tier shuffle at UK contractor Kier Group as CEO resigns
UK-based contractor Keir Group has announced the departure of its chief executive officer Haydn Mursell [image: London].
Published: 24 January 2019 - 11:30 a.m.
By: Jack Ball

Confident it will meet its financial expectations for FY2019, UK-based contractor Keir Group has announced the departure of its chief executive officer Haydn Mursell with immediate effect.

Kier said the board has asked chairman Philip Cox to act as executive chairman, working closely with finance director, Bev Dew, and Claudio Veritiero, chief operating officer, to oversee operations until a replacement for Mursell has been found.

The UK contractor said the search for a successor to Mursell, who led the construction group since 2014, has already begun.

"The board believes that, following the completion of the recent rights issue, now is the right time for a new leader to take Kier forward to the next stage of its development,” Cox said.

November 2018 saw the construction and support service firm launch a $344.4m emergency rescue rights issue, warning that some lenders at the time were slashing their UK building sector exposure, particularly after the historic collapse of local giant Carillion.

The senior board change came as the firm released its latest trading update, expressing confidence that the firm would meet its FY2019 expectations with the “full-year results weighted towards the second half of the financial year, as usual”.

Kier said the costs of implementing its Future Proofing programme – designed to stabilise the firm’s finances – in H1 FY2019 have exceeded savings by $13m.

The company said its balance sheet as of 31 December, 2018 was strengthened following the receipt of the $325.6m net cash proceeds of the recent rights issue, adding that the group remains on track to report a net cash position on 30 June, 2019, marking the end of its financial year.

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