Balfour Beatty's share price soared this morning after revealing it had snagged Leo Quinn, chief executive of QinetiQ, to lead it out of troubled waters after a turbulent year and a series of profit warnings.
Quinn, who has headed up defence technology company QinetiQ since 2009, takes over from Andrew McNaughton who stepped down after Balfour issued a profit warning in May. He had been in the job for a year.
The announcement saw a massive spike in Balfour's share price this morning, peaking at around 15 per cent.
The stock is still around 40 per cent lower than it was a year ago.
In August, Balfour shocked analysts and some investors by rejecting an offer from rival construction company Carillion in a possible £3bn merger deal. At the time, Balfour said the offer was not in the best interests of its shareholders and vowed to focus on the sell-off of part of its American business, including Parsons Brinckerhoff.
Quinn’s move, first reported by Sky News, follows an interesting career to date, having been chief executive of banknote printer De La Rue between 2005 and 2009 before joining QinetiQ. He spent 16 years with Honeywell and is a non-executive director at Betfair. His hobbies include skiing, shooting and the performing arts.
The appointment is a big win for Balfour, whose share price fell more than three per cent yesterday.