Thiess and Leighton Contractors to become global leaders, CEO says

Leighton Holdings has named the managing directors who will oversee its four new operating divisions in a sign the company is moving quickly to implement its restructure.

Yesterday the company announced it would simplify its operations in to four new divisions – construction, mining, public-private partnerships (PPPs), and engineering.

Construction will be led by David Jurd, who is currently the executive general manager of Leighton Contractors’ Infrastructure Division.

Mining will be led by Bruce Munro, who is currently managing director of Thiess.

 PPPs will be led by Angel Muriel, who is currently Leighton Holdings’ chief development officer.

 Engineering will be led by Craig Laslett, who is currently managing director of Leighton Contractors.

Leighton also announced the branding of the construction and mining businesses will stay the same.

“The construction business will be branded Leighton Contractors, and mining will be branded Thiess,” the company said.

“Keeping these valuable brands will enable us to build on the strong positioning of each of these businesses in the market, as we work towards making Leighton Contractors a global leader in construction and Thiess the global leader in mining,” CEO Marcelino Fernández Verdes said.

“I am pleased to announce these new appointments and I have great confidence in the leadership, insight and expertise each member of the team will bring to his role.”

Verdes said cutting costs and accelerating change at the Leighton was a top priority.

The company has confirmed it is analysing options for its services, property and John Holland businesses including the potential divestment or introduction of new partners to these firms.

“Streamlining our operating model will allow us to better leverage the existing expertise that resides across the group’s diverse operations and increase our transparency,” Verdes said.

“By reorganising these activities we will create economies of scale, thereby lowering our cost base and helping to improve our competitive advantage and create value for the benefit of all stakeholders. “

The company has previously said the review could lead to job losses.

It employs more than 53,000 people world-wide, excluding contractors. 

Leighton is now more than 70 per cent owned by Spanish-controlled Hochtief of which Verdes is also CEO.

In January, Verdes implemented a similar plan at that company when he split the group into four smaller arms comprising of building, infrastructure, engineering and PPP Solutions and sold off its real estate business.

Hochtief is controlled by ACS which Verdes has been named to run after current chief executive Florentino Perez retires. 

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