Building giant Leighton Holdings has announced the appointment of four new Managing Directors to manage the Construction, Engineering, Mining and PPP business units which are set to form the pillars of the group’s structure going forward.

In a statement on Friday, the company announced current Executive General Manager of Leighton Contractor’s Infrastructure Division David Jurd would lead the group’s Construction unit whilst Theiss Managing Director Bruce Munro will lead Mining, Leighton Holdings Chief Development Officer Angel Muriel will lead PPPs and Engineering will be led by current Managing Leighton Contractors Director Craig Laslett.

Ian Edwards will continue to lead Leighton Asia, India and Offshore whilst Glenn Palin will continue to lead John Holland; and Mark Gray will continue to lead Leighton Properties.

The appointments follow Thursday’s announcement by Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marcelino Fernández Verdes that the Group’s operating model would be streamlined into the four aforementioned business units and that the group was considering hiving off its Services, Property and John Holland businesses.

That announcement followed a strategic review initiated by the company, which in recent years has been hit by large write-downs on major projects as well as trouble with collection of money owing in its Middle Eastern Joint Venture and media reports of a company culture whereby accountability was lacking.

The new structure also follows moves by parent company Hochtief to assume greater control over Leighton and reflects efforts to simplify the business.

Fernández welcomed the latest appointments.

“I am pleased to announce these new appointments and I have great confidence in the leadership, insight and expertise each member of the team will bring to his role,” he said.

Leighton also announced the branding of the construction and mining businesses under the new structure, with the former to be branded Leighton Contractors and the latter to be branded Thiess.

Fernández said the names held strong value and retaining them would enable the group to build on the positioning of each of the businesses in the market.

  • Leighton will make a great case study one day. I have been an observer of this company for over 20 years. I remember when its share price was around $2.0. Its been on an interesting journey and exerted great influence along the way. The cost of that journey has seen the destruction of share holder value and now the governance story will play out. Spinning off John Holland and Devine will provide further case studies on how construction proprietors grew their businesses in Australia but struggled with equity and succession. They have also struggled in the post proprietor years when the culture of the founder prevailed. Its a good time to own Leighton if they get their technical skills matched with abundant PPP work ahead and few competitors.

  • Andrew Heaton
    Industry Journalist
    3 years, 5 months ago


    Certainly, since I started following and covering Leighton for Sourceable in mid-2011 (can't comment much before that), it has seemed to me like a story of massive long-term opportunities for building and infrastructure work in Australia and Asia on one hand but frequent problems (project write-downs, sudden/unexplained executive departures, the Iraq scandal, associated with project write-downs, sudden and unexplained executive departures, the Iraq bribery scandal, Middle Eastern JV troubles and general governance mishaps on the other.

    Hopefully, they can now get things under control but for shareholders, it has been a frustrating ride.

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