Leighton puts CFO Gregg in charge of Australian business
Leighton Holdings has elevated Peter Gregg to the role of deputy chief executive, as part of a management rejig aimed at putting recent turmoil behind Australia's largest construction group.
In what was cast as a "rebasing", Leighton chief executive Hamish Tyrwhitt has also changed reporting lines for its Australian contracting subsidiaries such as Thiess and John Holland.
Placing Mr Gregg in direct control of the Australian businesses is aimed at helping free up Leighton's CEO to focus more on its operations overseas and broader strategy.
Mr Tyrwhitt said Mr Gregg, who will retain his role as chief financial officer and his seat on the board, would focus on "rebasing the operations of the Australian-based subsidiaries".
Thiess managing director Bruce Munro, Leighton Contractors boss Craig Laslett and John Holland chief Glenn Palin will report to Mr Gregg.
Six senior executives, including Mr Gregg, Leighton Properties boss Mark Gray and the head of Leighton Asia, India and Offshore, Ian Edwards, will report to the chief executive.
Shares in Leighton closed down almost 4 per cent at $19.52 on Friday despite the rejig.
The management shuffle comes just two days after BHP Billiton terminated its contract for services from Leighton at a coalmine in Queensland's Bowen Basin two years early.
Leighton was racked with turmoil last month when three independent directors, including chairman Stephen Johns and former Reserve Bank governor Ian Macfarlane, resigned amid claims that relations with controlling shareholder Hochtief had broken down.
New chairman Bob Humphris said promoting the CFO demonstrated the alignment of Mr Tyrwhitt and Mr Gregg.
Mr Gregg said Leighton was now turning its focus to "business transformation, seeking to improve net margins, enhance the management of capital and further strengthen the balance sheet".