After 24 years with the developer/contractor, Orton has decided to take a step back, but will continue to work with Downing as a non-executive director.
Sally O’Brien, joint chief executive at Downing, said: “We are really pleased that Ian will still be involved with Downing.
“He is responsible for the great team we have established at Downing; each member being guided through his experience.
“Andy has been a rising star since joining us and is someone who was earmarked very early on as a future leader. It’s very fitting that having been mentored by Ian from the start of his career, he is now taking over the helm.”
The change at the top comes as the developer continues to progress at pace with its £1bn pipeline.
Downing is currently on site at one of its biggest developments to date, First Street, a £400m mixed-use co-living scheme in Manchester city centre.
Last year, Downing took over the former Children’s Hospital site in Edinburgh as part of its £150m mixed-use scheme to deliver a five-storey 323 student accommodation building, 95 private residential properties, as well as affordable housing.