Laing O'Rourke appoints Rowan Baker as CFO

  • Rowan Baker to take up her role in September 2020
  • Business continues planning for post-COVID offsite construction focus

Laing O’Rourke today announced the appointment of Rowan Baker as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Rowan will take up her new global role in September and will sit on the company’s Group Executive Committee and Corporation Board.

An experienced finance executive, Rowan joins Laing O’Rourke from her role as Chief Financial Officer of McCarthy & Stone plc, the UK’s leading developer and manager of retirement communities. Prior to joining them in 2012, she worked in finance for Barclays Bank plc and professional services for PwC. She has a masters degree in Law from Cambridge University and is a qualified accountant (FCA) and chartered tax adviser.

During her most recent role, she has also gained extensive experience of the construction sector and the challenges it faces to improve productivity, deliver greater certainty for clients and overcome a long-standing skills shortage.

Commenting on her appointment, Rowan said: “I am thrilled and excited to be joining Laing O’Rourke. I am impressed by its swift actions to build resilience during the current COVID-19 crisis and remain focused on the significant opportunities on the horizon, in both the private and public sector.

“I believe its pioneering focus on modern methods of construction, digital engineering and its direct delivery model via its own construction workforce, position it well to win new business in a sector set for change. I am looking forward to getting started and working with a talented team of people to help the business grow revenue and drive productivity.”

Laing O’Rourke CEO, Ray O’Rourke, to whom Rowan will report, commented: “I am delighted Rowan will be joining us in this critical leadership role. While it is a time of extreme turbulence in our economy and wider society, and we are working hard to ensure we emerge strongly from the COVID-19 crisis, it is important we remain focused on our longer-term objectives and success.

“There are significant opportunities and exciting times ahead of us and Rowan’s finance and leadership expertise will help us maximise these and continue our transformation.”

Rowan will succeed current Group Finance Director, Stewart McIntyre, who will retire from full-time roles with the Group in March 2021. He will oversee a gradual handover and will remain responsible for finalisation of the 2019-20 Group Accounts and Audit. Stewart will remain as an adviser to the Corporation Board to March 2022.

Ray O’Rourke added: “I would like to thank Stewart for his friendship and leadership over the past six years. He has steered the company through its turnaround programme and refinancing, enabling us to focus on transforming the business for future success. I am pleased the Board will continue to have access to his considerable knowledge and expertise.”