Mott MacDonald leadership changes as Haigh exits

Mott MacDonald has announced a shakeup of its senior leadership team amid the departure of its long-serving executive chair, Mike Haigh.

Haigh, who has worked for the global engineering, management and development consultancy for 42 years, will be replaced by James Harris.

Meanwhile, Cathy Travers becomes group managing director, stepping into the vacant position left by Harris.

Harris takes on the role of executive chair after holding several senior leadership positions within the company. He was appointed to the executive board in 2017, and became group managing director two years later.

He joined Mott MacDonald in 1990, as an engineer in its UK water business, and has been involved on major civil engineering projects in Hong Kong. Harris is also credited with shaping the group’s award-winning approach to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Reflecting on his appointment, Harris said he was “proud and honoured” to take over from Haigh. “I am continually astounded by the sheer ingenuity of our people and their energetic dedication to achieving sustainable, resilient solutions to the challenges we face around the world.

“I’m excited at the prospect of building on what Mike has achieved – delivering on our purpose, advancing our technical excellence, strengthening our client partnerships and supporting our people in developing rewarding careers.”

“Mike has been an integral part of Mott MacDonald for over 40 years. As executive chair, he has successfully developed our business, guiding it through the pandemic and many changes – including our digital transformation, a greater emphasis on technical and professional excellence, increased focus on social outcomes and greater profile in the industry – all ensuring the company’s strong position for the future,” he added.

Like Harris, Travers has worked at Mott MacDonald for her entire 34-year career. She became an executive board director in January.

In her role as managing director, Travers led a diverse team of 8,000 employees, delivering infrastructure projects across transport, water, energy and the built environment. She has also worked to promote a culture of inclusivity, championing the group’s wellbeing and mental health programmes.

Travers said: “I am absolutely delighted and very proud to be appointed as Mott MacDonald’s next managing director.

“It’s a hugely exciting time to be taking over the operational leadership of such a fantastic company, and I’m very much looking forward to working with our global teams to continue to deliver great outcomes for our clients and communities, our company and our people.”

Harris and Travers will start their new roles on 1 August.

Earlier this year, Mott MacDonald hired a senior member of Mark Farmer’s Cast Consultancy to head up its new Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) service.

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