Cathal O’Rourke has taken on the role of chief operating officer at Laing O’Rourke.
O’Rourke, who was managing director of Laing’s Australian business until last year, will begin his new role on 1 April.
The role is a new one, which the firm said should help the Europe and group teams to “work more closely together and share learning and best practice across the company’s international operations”.
O’Rourke will also support the leadership team in Europe and will be responsible for “maximising the return of the company’s investments in strategic initiatives”.
He went on parental leave when he left the Australian business after eight-and-a-half years at its helm. He is the son of Ray O’Rourke, the longtime chief executive who cancelled his plan to leave his position in October.
Laing O’Rourke group chair Sir John Parker said: “[Cathal O’Rourke] will work alongside his father Ray, as well as Des O’Rourke and the group and hub executive committees, to focus on performance and culture as we enter the next stage of our Deliver 2025 strategic plan.”
While working in Australia, O’Rourke transformed the business from an oil- and gas-focused firm to secure a broader pipeline of work, including in public infrastructure and defence work, according to Laing O’Rourke.
Last month the company secured a £46.2m contract to build a footbridge at St Marys Station on the Sydney Metro.
The project is part of the creation of a West Sydney Airport line, which is due to form part of Sydney Metro. Laing O’Rourke is already working on the A$2.16bn tunnel package for the West Sydney Airport line with joint venture partner Gamuda Australia.