Fletcher appoints Peter Reidy CEO of its construction problem child

Fletcher Building has appointed a new chief executive to its construction division, Peter Reidy, who is KiwiRail’s chief executive, and also moved current chief executive, Michelle Kernahan, to head the building products division.

The company says both appointments are effective from early November.

David Thomas had been appointed acting head of the building products division in June and Fletcher says he will return to his role as general manager of Winstone Wallboards.

The June announcement reorganised the company from four divisions to seven and emphasised that building products and distribution are now Fletcher’s core operations.

“Our new strategy clearly defines our ambition to build our core operations in building products and Michelle is ideally placed to lead this, bringing with her significant experience in the sector through her previous general manager roles with Golden Bay Cement and Laminex Australia,” says chief executive Ross Taylor in a statement.

Mr Taylor’s predecessor, Mark Adamson, appointed Ms Kernahan to head the construction division in March last year after it started to become obvious that the Building + Interiors unit, which constructs high-rise buildings, was going to make massive losses.

Those losses ballooned from the announcement in March last year of $110 million through to nearly $1 billion for the 18 months ended June.

“We are also pleased to have David resuming his leadership of Winstone Wallboards and, in particular, focusing on delivering Fletcher Building’s major capital investment project into a new Auckland-based plasterboard manufacturing facility,” Mr Taylor says.

The company remains focused on stabilising the construction division.

“In particular, increasing our focus on lower-risk, more profitable sectors such as infrastructure and roading,” Mr Taylor says.

“Peter has a strong track record of leading infrastructure businesses, including in his current role at KiwiRail and previously as chief operating officer (of) infrastructure services with Downer Group in Australia,” he says.

Mr Reidy joined KiwiRail in early 2014.

“I am confident Peter will build on the work Michelle and her leadership team have commenced to strengthen the construction division and lead it into a new phase of sustainable growth.”  

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