Construction News has published their top 10 executives to keep your eye on as we enter 2020. My initial observation upon reading the article was an increase in the number of females on the list - five of the 10.
I was especially pleased to see Joseph Daniels, CEO of offsite developer Project Etopia, on the list. His aim is to bring comfortable (even luxury) living to the masses.
I met with a mutual friend of his a few months ago who told me his story. Long story short, apparently he was sleeping rough and was compelled to research and develop a more accessible housing offering (albeit with the help of well connected family members). Having developed a first phase of his solution, in demonstrating the ease by which such housing could be constructed, he trained unskilled workers in Africa who desperately needed a solution. Forward wind to 2019 and the business had secured £19m of funding from Reuben Brothers and full production has got under way.
Another name that stood out for me was Andrew Davies, CEO of tier one contractor Kier. Much was made of the businesses struggles throughout 2019. One of Andrews priorities upon taking up the role in April was to strip non-core business functions to concentrate on their infrastructure and building contracting services. However, in today's buyers market, both their house building and property arms are still up for sale, and interest on debts are eroding £30m of operating profits a year.
And then finally there is Greta Thunberg, winner of last years Times Person of the Year at only 16 years of age! Irrespective of your political stance on her views you have got to respect the voice and audience she has created. With ongoing pressure on the British government to drive change and improvements on sustainability and our carbon footprint, I strongly expect to be reading more about her efforts in the coming months.
The new year, and start of a new decade, brings a lot of change... Fresh results of a general election, thoughts of Brexit, and a move into a more sustainable future means key leaders are sure to emerge and pave the way for the industry to follow. Here are the people CN will be watching in 2020.