Leighton appoint new Chairman and CEO

Mr Stephen Johns, newly appointed Chairman & CEO, Leighton

The Board of Leighton Holdings Limited (Leighton) is pleased to announce that Mr Stephen Johns has been elected by the Board to succeed Mr David Mortimer as Chairman. As announced yesterday, Mr Mortimer has resigned from the Board.

Mr Johns has been an Independent Non-Executive Director and Chairman of Leighton’s Audit Committee since 2009. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Westfield Holdings Limited and Brambles Limited, and Chairman of Spark Infrastructure.

The Board believes that Mr Johns will make an excellent successor to David Mortimer. He combines extensive international business knowledge with very strong financial, senior management and board experience.

Paying tribute to David Mortimer’s contribution to Leighton, Mr Stephen Johns said; “On behalf of the Board I would like to thank David for his outstanding contribution to Leighton over his 14 years on the Board including four as Chairman. David has overseen the successful transition to new leadership following Wal King’s 23 years as CEO and the start of a new era for Leighton. The business is very well positioned for its next phase of growth and development.”

Leighton also announced today the appointment of Mr Hamish Tyrwhitt as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. Mr Tyrwhitt will succeed Mr Stewart and act in the role with immediate effect. Mr Johns said that under David Mortimer and David Stewart’s leadership the Leighton Group has been successfully transitioned into a new era.

“David Stewart has done a very good job stabilizing the Company, bringing to account complex issues that needed to be dealt with such as Brisbane Airport Link and Victorian Desalination projects and addressing issues in our Middle Eastern Joint Venture,” said Mr Johns.
“The Board is confident that the business has a stable base from which to build and we believe that new leadership is now required for Leighton to move forward and capitalise on the significant growth opportunities that lie ahead. Hamish Tyrwhitt is well credentialed to lead the Leighton Group through the next exciting phase of its growth.

“I look forward to working closely with Hamish and his senior management team. Hamish and I have complementary skills, with my public company experience and Hamish’s deep knowledge of the contracting industry and the Leighton business,” said Mr Johns.

“Hamish is a long serving Leighton employee who believes in the importance of empowerment, team work and accountability. These are core Leighton values and the Board expects that Hamish will bring these and his discipline to the Group, as well as a strong focus on risk management in the delivery of projects.

“Mr Tyrwhitt started his 26-year career with the Group at John Holland and has subsequently worked for Leighton International, Leighton Contractors and Leighton Asia. He was appointed Managing Director of Leighton Asia in 2007 and, in 2011, was given responsibility for the Indian and Offshore operations of the Group,” said Mr Johns.

“During his time as Managing Director of Leighton Asia, work in hand has grown from $300 million to over $6.6 billion. He has built a strong values-based culture in the Asian business and has demonstrated strong leadership skills in more closely aligning the Asian businesses.
“Hamish has a thorough understanding of Leighton’s operations and the industry, and has established strong relationships with many of the Company’s global partners and clients,” said Mr Johns.

Mr Tyrwhitt said that he was honoured to be given the responsibility of leading the Leighton Group as Chief Executive Officer. “Leighton is a great Company founded on its core values of discipline, integrity, safety and success and I intend to make sure that we stay true to those values. I see great opportunities for Leighton to deliver on the potential of its people and its strong market position,” said Mr Tyrwhitt.
“Our diversity strategy provides a range of Australian based construction and mining opportunities and, supplemented by our presence in the growth markets of Asia, positions the Company well for future growth. This growth will be delivered in conjunction with a rigorous approach to risk management,” he said.

Mr Bob Cooke, currently General Manager Commercial for Leighton Asia, will be appointed Acting Head of Leighton Asia / Leighton Asia, India and Offshore.

Paying tribute to David Stewart’s contribution to Leighton, Mr Johns said, on behalf of the Board and the wider team at Leighton, that he would like to thank David Stewart for his outstanding contribution to the business over some 25 years.

“David has played important roles in the growth of a number of Leighton businesses including leading John Holland to record levels of revenue and profit, and in his role as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer. We wish him the very best for the future,” said Mr Johns.
As stated at the full year results on 15th August, Leighton has a very positive long-term outlook with $46.2 billion worth of work in hand, a strong competitive position and solid economic activity in the major markets in which it operates. ”