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Balfour Beatty names National Grid director Philip Aiken as new chairman

Balfour Beatty has named National Grid director Philip Aiken as its new chairman.

Mr Aiken will replace current chairman Steve Marshall when he retires from the board on 25 March.

In addition to his position at National Grid, Mr Aiken also holds non-executive roles at Newscrest Mining and Aveva Group, the latter of which he is chairman.

Balfour Beatty chief executive Leo Quinn said: “Philip has many years of highly relevant international board-level experience at the top of the industry and we look forward to his valuable contribution to the business, including areas of paramount importance to the group, such as safety.

“The board is focused on the group-wide transformation programme and capturing the significant opportunity to drive leaner, stronger processes, improved profits, and strong cash generation to the benefit of our shareholders.”

The appointment comes during a turbulent period for the company, which has issued six profit warnings in two-and-a-half-years, the most recent of which came last month.

Last year also saw the departure of former chief executive Andrew McNaughton, followed by two non-executive directors: Belinda Richards and Bill Thomas.

Planning and developments director Peter Zinkin will also step down from the board in March, meaning half of Balfour Beatty’s board members from this time last year will no longer be with the group at the end of next month.

Mr Aiken began his career at BOC Gases in Australia before becoming chief executive of BTR Nylex.

He later joined BHP Billiton where he was president of its petroleum business and, later, its energy business.

Mr Aiken said of his new role: “I am very much looking forward to working with the board and the executive team in setting the business back on the course of value creation with Leo and his team.

“Balfour Beatty has great people and a vast depth of engineering capability and technical expertise.

“The group is striving to ensure that the value delivered to our customers translates into best-in-class performance and restores Balfour Beatty to strength.”

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