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Laing O’Rourke appoints new Group Chief Operating Officer

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Laing O’Rourke has appointed Cathal O’Rourke to the newly created role of Group Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The creation of the COO role will assist the Group and Europe executive teams to work closely together and share learning across the company’s international operations. He will begin his new role in April.

During his time in Australia, he transitioned the business from an oil and gas resources focus to secure a broad pipeline of public infrastructure and defence work for the State and Federal Governments.

As the Australian Managing Director and President of the Australian Constructors’ Association (ACA), he was important in the sector’s transition to more collaborative contracting, including early engagement models and incentives for high performance.

Prior to leading the business in Australia, he had operational business unit leader roles in both Hubs, in main contracting and the specialist businesses.


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Laing O’Rourke Group Chair Sir Joh Parker said he is delighted with the new appointment

“He will work alongside his father Ray, as well as Des O’Rourke and the Group and Hub Executive Committees, to focus on performance and culture as we enter the next stage of our Deliver 2025 strategic plan,” he said.

Cathal O’Rourke will support the recently updated business unit leadership team in Europe and be responsible for maximising the return of the company’s investments in strategic initiatives.

He stepped down as Managing Director of the Australian business last year, after eight and a half years leading the hub and as a member of the Group Executive.

O’Rourke said he is excited to return to a workplace where he started as a young engineer.

“I got the opportunity to go to Australia 13 years ago, thinking I would only be away for a short time. I’m keen to reconnect with those I know from back then, while getting to know the great people who’ve joined since,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to driving our unique culture – by putting our people and their diverse experiences at the heart of our offering to clients – enabled by our advanced technical capability.”

O’Rourke will attend the March meeting of the Group Board and then manage his transition from Sydney to the company’s Dartford headquarters during April.

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