Stewart, 57, currently Leighton’s chief operating officer, will take up the position from Jan. 1, completing a succession process that began two years ago, the company said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange today.
“David brings a comprehensive knowledge of the business, a wealth of contracting experience and a disciplined ‘can do’ attitude that is central to Leighton’s culture,” David Mortimer, the company’s chairman, said in the statement.
Leighton said last month it’s targeting profit of A$900 million ($837 million) within five years on A$30 billion of revenue, as it announced net income surged 39 percent in the 12 months to June 30 to a record A$612 million. Work in hand for the company, controlled by Germany’s Hochtief AG, reached a record A$41.5 billion as it won infrastructure and mining contracts in Australia and Asia.
King, who was chief executive officer and managing director at Sydney-based Leighton for 23 years, will stay on as a consultant, the company said. Stewart’s bonus package as chief executive officer is still being worked out.
Leighton shares added 2.9 percent to A$34.34 at the 4:10 p.m. market close in Sydney trading, paring this year’s drop to 9.9 percent.