Wates has announced it will appoint Andrew Davies of BAE Systems as its new chief executive from 6 January 2014.
Mr Davies will take over from Paul Drechsler after his decision earlier this year to step down after nearly a decade in the role.
James Wates, who joined the firm in 1983, replaced Mr Drechsler as chairman of Wates Group in April.
Mr Drechsler joined the Wates Group board in September 2004 as chief executive and was appointed chairman and chief executive in April 2006.
He told Construction News in April that a “world-class procurement” would take place to find his successor and that he had “enjoyed every minute” of his time in the role.
Mr Davies is currently managing director of BAE Systems’ Maritime business, a major division of BAE Systems, managing a turnover in excess of £2bn with more than 14,000 employees.
Prior to this, Mr Davies held roles as group strategy director, at which time he was appointed a member of the BAE Systems executive committee, and was managing director of Land Systems.
A graduate in Business Studies from Sheffield University, Mr Davies’ earlier career within BAE gained him “significant PFI and financing experience commercially, strategically and operationally”, Wates said.
Wates was shortlisted by the Education Funding Agency for the first batch of privately financed priority schools worth £150m last month, alongside Morgan Sindall and a joint venture between Interserve and property developer Kajima.
Mr Davies oversaw deals for BAE Systems including a contract with the Brazilian Navy to supply it with three patrol vessels worth £133m, announced in January.
Wates chairman James Wates said Mr Davies was joining the contractor at “a very exciting time as the construction industry begins to see some positive signs of recovery” from recession.
He added: “The company is performing well and we are on track to deliver our projected turnover and objectives for 2013. We will also finish the year with a significantly improved order book, providing strong prospects for growth in 2014.
“Paul Drechsler leaves Wates in excellent shape having built our business into a £1bn group. Andrew will develop our business further, and we are looking forward to welcoming him as our new chief executive in January.”