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German physicist to become new boss of Atkins

Britain’s biggest consultant Atkins has appointed German physicist Uwe Krueger to replace Keith Clarke as chief executive

Clarke will retire from his position as chief executive and director on 31 July after almost eight years in the role. Krueger will join the board on 14 June as chief executive designate and take over as chief executive on 1 August.

Krueger landed the role after a global search to find someone with the experience of running people companies and with the ability to mesh together Atkins’ collection of international businesses.

Krueger, 46, is a physicist who studied at the University of Frankfurt, graduating with a phD in complex system theory and brain research. He also studied at Columbia University in New York, the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and at Harvard in Boston. He has spent the majority of his career leading engineering and consulting organisations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

He began his career at international strategy consulting firm, A T Kearney, followed by leadership positions at German contractor Hochtief and US consultant Turner International. More recently he was chief executive officer of Swiss mechanical engineer Oerlikon.

He joins Atkins from Texas Pacific Group, a private equity investment firm based in London and San Francisco and Cleantech Switzerland, a trade promotion organisation in the area of sustainability which operates on behalf of the Swiss Federal Government.

Krueger’s knowledge of the US market was seen as particularly important, following Atkins’ recent purchase of US consultant PBSJ.

Atkins chairman Allan Cook said now was a “natural time” for Clarke to stand down. He will remain with the firm as director of sustainability, with a specific remit to develop the firm’s Middle East business.

“Keith is retiring as chief executive, having steered the Group back to being a high performing business, successfully navigated a world recession and charted the course for growth,” said Cook. “This is a natural time for him to hand the baton over to Uwe Krueger to continue the Group’s development as a multi-national organisation. He leaves the Group with an excellent track record and a low carbon legacy.”

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