New names at the top for Systra and Bechtel

The former director of engineering and construction at Tidal Lagoon Power, Andrew  McNaughton joined Systra group as Chief Operating Officer (COO)this week. He will take over from Frédéric Delorme, who joined SNCF as Head of Security in January 2016.

The French-owned transport planning and rail engineering specialist said: “Andrew's international expertise and operational and project management capabilities, as well as his M&A experience, will be of considerable benefit to the Executive Board.

Aged 52, he has spent much of his career within the Balfour Beatty group, one of the UK's leading construction groups, which he joined in 1997. Between 2007 and 2009, he led Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd, where, notably, he was project manager for CTRL (HS1), before being appointed COO of the group in 2009. He served as its CEO from March 2013 to March 2014 before moving to Tidal Power April 2015.

In recent months Systra has made a series of acquisitions and set out ambitious growth targets. In April it acquired SIAS the Edinburgh based transport planning consultancy. 

In March Systra acquired Scott Lister, an Australian head-quartered company specialising in systems engineering and risk management, largely for the railway sector. This acquisition gives the firm the wherewithal to build up its activity in Australia, a high-potential market for transport infrastructure.

Systra is jointly owned by two major French public transit operators (RATP and SNCF) and has worked in over 150 countries and 350 cities championing new approaches to mobility. 

The news comes as Bechtel named 35-year old Brendan Bechtel as its new chief executive.Brendan Bechtel currently president and chief operating officer, will become the fifth generation family member to lead the $37.2bn (£25.8bn) US-based firm.

Current chief executive Bill Dudley will become vice-chairman, while Jack Futcher will become president of the company’s Oil, Gas & Chemicals (OG&C) business, as well as president and chief operating officer of Bechtel Group.

The changes to the leadership structure of the group will take place on 1 September.

Brendan Bechtel said: “I look forward to continuing the family’s legacy started by my great-great-grandfather in 1898, and most importantly, working with our strong team of committed and capable leaders to guide Bechtel into the future.”

Bechtel chairman and Brendan Bechtel’s father Riley Bechtel said: “This is a natural evolution in our company and the result of diligent succession planning and execution. Today, I am both a proud father and confident chairman with Brendan coming in as CEO.”