Balfour Beatty, the FTSE 250 global infrastructure group, has announced that role of Chief Executive will be passed from Ian Tyler to Andrew McNaughton at the end of March this year.
McNaughton, who was appointed to the board in 2009, is currently Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer.
The announcement came as the company reported that the overall 2012 performance remains in line with its expectations.
Average net debt for the year was around £50m, reflecting the "significant cyclical unwind of working capital" during the year, the firm said. It expects to have ended the year with a broadly cash-neutral position.
The order book at the end of November stood at £14.2bn, but is expected to have improved to around £15bn by the year-end, given the new orders received in December.
The group commented that the order book mix is shifting from construction to professional services and support services, and overall, from buildings to infrastructure projects.
As a result of the longer-term nature and back-end loaded margin profile of the contracts, the firm expects most of the benefit to revenue and profit to arise in 2014 and beyond.
In a statement the company said: "As we stated in the Q3 IMS on November 8th 2012, we have been managing our business on the basis that market conditions would be tough, and this has been an effective strategy. We will take further action, both operationally and strategically where necessary, to mitigate any adverse impacts on our business.
"In the medium and long term, we are confident that our position in infrastructure markets, our focus and competitive advantage in the transportation, rail, power, water and mining verticals, and our initiatives to access growing markets such as Australia, Canada, Brazil and India will stand us in good stead as well as making the business more robust."
New CEO for Balfour
McNaughton led the worldwide operations for the last three years where he has been instrumental in developing the group's global strategy to move into higher growth sectors and geographies, the company said.
In line with the board's succession plan, McNaughton was promoted to Deputy Chief Executive on July 1st 2012, when he assumed additional responsibility for the Investments division and for various global functions including Health & Safety and Human Resources.
Chairman Steve Marshall said: "The board is delighted that someone of Andrew's calibre has developed from within the business and is now ready to take over the role of Chief Executive from Ian. Andrew has a deep understanding of our customers and operations, and the relentless drive necessary to successfully deliver the strategy that he has been intimately involved in developing."
McNaughton added: "It has been a privilege to be part of the leadership team at Balfour Beatty for several years only now surpassed by the opportunity to take over from Ian as Chief Executive.
"We have a strong company and are in a good position to meet the short term market challenges and take advantage of the longer term opportunities. I am looking forward to building on the solid platform that we have created and leading us to the next stage of strategic growth."
Tyler, who has been at the helm of the group for eight years, will remain on the board until the end of April to ensure a smooth transition, the firm said.