VolkerWessels appoints new chief executive

VolkerWessels UK has promoted Richard Offord to the role of chief executive after a 32-year career at the infrastructure specialist.

Offord joined predecessor company Fitzpatrick as an engineer in 1990, before the firm joined the VolkerWessels group in 2004.

He has worked in several roles, most recently as managing director of VolkerFitzpatrick and chief operating officer of the wider group.

Offord will become VolkerWessels’ UK chief executive on 1 August, replacing Alan Robertson, who will move into the newly created role of chairman of the business.

Robertson has been at the helm of the group for 14 years, during which its revenue almost doubled from £576m in 2009 to £1.1bn in 2020.

VolkerWessels UK said Robertson had driven operational improvements, implemented robust management and governance structures, reinforced a strong safety culture, and spearheaded programmes to promote and support sustainability, social value, equality and diversity, and digital construction and innovation.

Robertson said that leading the business had been “an absolute privilege”.

“I am proud to say that VolkerWessels UK has gone from strength to strength – not least, weathering the challenges of the pandemic over the last couple of years,” he said.

“I am hugely proud of our people and teams working across the business, in all roles and at all levels, whom I believe are second to none in our sector. VolkerWessels UK has a unique culture and a phenomenal level of support from our shareholders.”

Robertson said the firm’s balance sheet and “robust” order book meant it had a “strong future”, and he described handing the reins to Offord as “a pleasure”.

Offord said he was “proud” to have the opportunity to head up the business.

“Alan and I have worked closely together for the past 14 years, and in particular for the past year, since I took on the role of chief operating officer,” he said.

“I look forward to leading the business into the future, delivering ongoing excellence for all our clients, and providing a safe, secure and forward-thinking business, which values its people and indeed all of our stakeholder relationships.”

Alfred Vos, chief executive officer of Dutch parent company Royal VolkerWessels, said VolkerWessels UK had become a “strong and well-respected business” under Robertson.

“As Alan takes this next step and moves to the role of chairman, I am delighted that the group will retain his knowledge and guidance, and I am equally pleased that we can pass the day-to-day leadership to someone with the experience and industry knowledge that Richard Offord brings,” Vos added.

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