Hotchtief chief executive Marcelino Fernandes Verdes has insisted his company did not influence Leighton Holdings' (LEI) decision to appoint an influential executive from Spanish firm ACS to serve as Leighton's new chief operating officer, according to The Australian.
The new appointee, Adolfo Valderas Martinez, will move to Australia to take up his new post.
But the appointment raised some eyebrows, and sparked questions about whether Leighton was being influenced by its ACS-controlled major shareholder Hochtief.
“It is not a question of Germans, Spanish or Australians. It is a question of the business. I support Hamish's decision. This is very good for the development of Leighton in Australia,” Mr Fernandes Verdes told The Australian.
“When Hamish explained to me that he needed this sort of person, I could not agree more. If you have a good relationship with your major shareholder you can do these things.
“For Leighton it is important to have one of the more export managers in this type of business.
“For Hochtief the major part of our balance sheet comes from Leighton.”