Laing O’Rourke reverses leadership change

Laing O’Rourke founder Ray O’Rourke has reversed plans to step down as chief executive officer, citing “wider market conditions”.

The proposed handover to Seamus French, a non-executive board member and chief executive-designate, from January this year will not take place “in light of the current environment”.

French said he “found the industry tough but exciting”, adding that it was “better to allow the established team to flex and respond to the market at this time”.

O’Rourke will continue his role as group chief executive officer and Europe managing director for the next two financial years.

Along with his brother Des, O’Rourke founded the business almost 45 years ago from a single £2,500 concrete contract and transformed it into a business which last year posted revenues of over £2.5bn.

O’Rourke thanked French for his “hard work and commitment”, adding that he had “prioritised our long-term success at every point”.