John Kirkwood has been appointed head of Brisbane-based engineering and construction firm Seymour Whyte.

Leighton Contractor’s head of its west division has bade farewell from the construction giant to take up a new executive position with a Queensland-based contractor.

John Kirkwood, Leighton Executive General Manger, West, will assume the leadership role with Brisbane-based Seymour Whyte starting in October, after inking an executive employment contract with the Queensland construction firm.

“Mr Kirkwood will lead the Seymour Whyte group, as it delivers on its growth and diversification strategy and expands its client base and operational footprint,”said Seymour chairman Mac Drysdale in an official statement.

“The board is delighted to have an executive of John’s calibre to lead the company through the next phase of transformation, and his appointment is the result of a targeted search process.”

Kirkwood is a long-time veteran of the Australian construction industry and a member of the executive council of the Queensland Master Builders Association. Prior to heading Leighton’s west division Kirkwood spent 26 years with Abigroup, where he rose to the position of national operations director.

He joined Leighton Contractors in 2013 as General Manager – Northern Infrastructure, responsible for the company’s businesses in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Papua New Guinea.

As Executive General Manager, West, John headed Leighton’s operations across a huge swathe of Australia, including Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

The new role as head of Seymour White will be based in Brisbane, and provide Kirkwood with a total fixed cash remuneration of $750,000 plus incentives.

Seymour Whyte is a ASX-listed infrastructure, engineering and construction firm that is involved with key projects across Australia in the transportation, utilities and resource sectors.

Major projects that the company is currently working on include improvements to the Great Western Highway in NSW; the Sydney Airport Northern Airport Precinct, as well as mining and civil works in Western Australia’s mineral-rich Pilbara region.