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Bechtel’s UK chairman departs after 11 years

Bechtel’s UK chairman Sir David Cooksey has stepped down from the post after 11 years as chair.

Sir David was formally removed as a director on 24 September, according to a filing on Companies House.

Bechtel UK director Paul Gibbs said Sir David had shown “grace, aplomb and deep wisdom” during his time as chairman.

He said: “Sir David’s actions impacted the business thinking and decisions made, helping us maintain our reputation and be the chosen partner of government and industry for several critical infrastructure and nuclear projects.”

The company confirmed it was seeking a new chair.

Sir David took up the position of chair in September 2008. An industrial engineer be training, he launched a successful technology focused venture capital fund in the 1980s and was a director of the Bank of England between 1994 and 2005.

Bechtel recently withdrew its High Court challenge against the awarding of the contract to build Old Oak Common station for HS2 to the Balfour Beatty / Vinci Construction UK / Vinci Grands Projets / Systra (BVVS) JV.

Bechtel, which bid for the £1bn job in a joint venture with Morgan Sindall, was challenging the way the contract was awarded.

Court filings revealed that one assessor had “major concerns” about the “resource level” for the project proposed by the BVVS bid.

The company is still pursuing a claim for damages against HS2 after it spent £3.5m on its bid for Old Oak Common.

Bechtel UK, which is US-owned, moved up five places in this year’s CN100 with its turnover rising from £201.5m to £219.4m.

Pre-tax profit for the company fell to £7.5m according to its accounts for the year ending 31 December 2018, down from £19.1m in 2017.

The high profit in 2017 was due to a one-off reversal to provisions it had made in 2015 and 2016.

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