Ray O’Rourke to hand chief executive reins to son Cathal

Laing O’Rourke has announced that group chief executive Ray O’Rourke is to step down and hand over to his son.

The tier one contractor announced today that the man who has run the firm since founding it in 1977 had given notice to the board of his intention to depart.

He will continue to serve on the Laing O’Rourke group board as deputy chair of the firm, and will be succeeded next week as chief executive by his son, Cathal.

Ray O’Rourke said: “I am incredibly proud of our people and what we have achieved as a business.

“We have maintained a commitment to transform our industry, and our people are recognised for their ability to deliver complex engineering projects using advanced and sophisticated techniques across the globe.”

The firm’s chairman Sir John Parker said: “We salute the unique creativity of Ray’s leadership in building the group and its culture that we know today.

“We are fortunate that he will continue to serve, providing ongoing guidance and mentorship.”

Ray O’Rourke originally founded the business, R. O’Rourke, in 1977 as an east London-based formwork contractor.

In 2001, the firm bought financially-stricken main contractor Laing Construction from John Laing plc for £1.

In 2021 Ray O’Rourke cancelled his original plan to step down, and his designated replacement Seamus French left the company.

The firm has pioneered the use of offsite manufacturing throughout its projects.

Cathal, a graduate engineer, returned to the UK last year as chief operating officer after leading the firm’s Australian business.

In January, Construction News named him in its list of 10 people to watch in 2024.

The UK’s largest privately-owned contractor has now made a combined pre-tax loss of £636.5m in its past 10 reported financial years – despite seeing its revenue gradually increase to reach £3.3bn in its latest results, released in December, covering the year to 31 March 2023.

Its losses for that year ballooned to £288.1m, which it blamed on issues with inflation, project delays and a legacy contract in Australia.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top