Leighton's chairman steps down

The chairman of Australian contractor Leighton Holdings has announced his retirement after nine years with the company.

Leighton revealed on Wednesday that Bob Humphris was retiring as chairman and non-executive director of the company, effective immediately, with current chief executive Marcelino Fernandez Verdes taking over as chairman.

“It has been a privilege to be involved with Leighton for the last nine and a half years and as chairman for the last year,” he said.

“However it is now time for me to retire from corporate life and to hand over to a new team.”

The reshuffle follows a partial takeover bid from majority shareholder Hochtief which is also headed by Verdes as its chief executive.

A provision of the A$1.2 billion deal saw chief executive Hamish Tyrwhitt and chief financial officer Peter Gregg step down, along with three other board members, as the German company looked to increase its presence on Leighton’s board.

Leighton also revealed on Wednesday it had appointed two new non-executive directors, Russell Chenu and Trevor Gerber.

Chenu will chair both the audit committee and ethic compliance committee, while Gerber will be the chairman of the remuneration and nominations committee.

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