COSTAIN has already begun interviewing replacements for Stuart Doughty for when he steps down as chief executive next year.
Mr Doughty, whose predecessor was current Network Rail chief John Armitt, is due to finish his five-year stint as boss in September 2006.The firm has begun the trawl now to ensure a smooth handover.
Mr Doughty said: 'It's wise to start the process reasonably early. I signed a five-year contract and I'm sticking to it. I'm 62 this year and we've got Costain to a reasonable position.
'If I carried on I would only be running it another couple of years and that would be inappropriate. It needs somebody younger for the next period.'
The firm has spoken to five candidates and over 40 CVs have been received.
Mr Doughty said he has not decided what he will do next but added: 'I don't mind, provided I'm busy.'