SNC-Lavalin’s former chief Neil Bruce knew of succession plan

Neil Bruce, the British construction executive who abruptly retired from Canadian construction giant SNC-Lavalin last week, has said the plan to replace him with chief operations officer Ian Edwards had been in train for at least six months.

The Montreal-headquartered company, due in court for a corruption trial on 28 June, announced the retirement of Bruce, who oversaw the acquisition of UK engineer Atkins, without warning on 11 June.

"The succession process has been diligent and detailed process starting last year," Bruce said in a Linkedin post on 14 June.

He added that "Ian was appointed COO in January of this year, so we have had a 5 month handover period, Ian knows the business well now and will do a great job". 

He said he was keen to rejoin his family in the UK: "as most of you know the family moved back to the uk after Christmas break and I was keen to join them once the process was over".

Today, SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business announced it had won a contract to design £1.5bn worth of track upgrades for the UK’s Network Rail.

It is part of the Central Rail Systems Alliance alongside Balfour Beatty and TSO.

The work covers London North West, London North East and East Midland routes for the next decade.

This includes track, crossings, points, and associated overhead lines and signalling. Work is due to commence in August and is worth up to £300m (approx. C$500m) in revenue to SNC-Lavalin.

"We have a long tradition of excellence in engineering and design in the global rail industry, and we are thrilled to be able to bring our expertise to such a valued client," said Ian L. Edwards, Interim President and CEO, SNC-Lavalin.

"It is with this kind of long-term consultancy work that SNC-Lavalin brings value-added outcomes for both the client and the end-users."

Image by Jeangagnon/CC BY-SA 3.0

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