Atkins has appointed Rodney Slater, US secretary of transportation under Bill Clinton, to its non-executive board.
Mr Slater, a partner and head of transportation at law firm Patton Boggs LLP where he works on projects related to transportation infrastructure, takes up the role as a non-executive director from today.
He was secretary of transportation under President Clinton between 1997 and 2001 and oversaw the successful passing of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, providing a framework for planning, and funding the long term transportation needs of major cities in the US. He also served as administrator of the United States Federal Highway Administration from 1993 to 1996 and was assistant attorney general for the state of Arkansas.
Chairman Allan Cook said Mr Slater’s experience is “particularly important as Atkins continues its development as a multi-national organisation, with an increasing geographical presence in the United States.”
Mr Cook also gave a short trading update at the annual general meeting yesterday, saying the company continues “to navigate well through challenging market conditions in many of its markets”.
Despite staff cuts in the UK, overall staff numbers have increased during the year to date to around 17,700, with growth in the Middle East and energy businesses.
It comes after a restructuring programme led to the company shedding close to 1,000 jobs between October 2010 and April 2011.
Consultation is continuing with members of the UK workforce over the defined benefit pension plan in relation to a proposal to remove the link between employees’ accrued pension and future increases in salary.
The earnings performance for the six months to 30 September 2011 is “anticipated to be in line with our expectations”. Mr Cook said the consultancy business is performing well in north America, but revenues are expected to be impacted by the Peter Brown construction management at risk business after a poor start to the year. The energy business is “making good progress” in the core growth markets of nuclear, oil and gas and power.