Davies is currently managing director of aerospace group BAE Systems’ maritime business and previously held roles including group strategy director and managing director of land systems at the FTSE 100-listed firm.
He takes over from Drechsler on 6 January 2014.
“Andrew joins our company at a very exciting time as the construction industry begins to see some positive signs of recovery from this prolonged recession,” said Wates chairman James Wates.
“The company is performing well and we are on track to deliver our projected turnover and objectives for 2013.”
Privately-owned Wates employs more than 2,600 people and turned over £1.2bn in 2012.