Change at the top as city contractor Colas welcomes new CEO

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A KEY city contractor has undergone a change of leadership – and its new CEO says he is hungry for excellence.

Carl Fergusson took the helm at Colas Ltd this week and is on a mission to 'wake the sleeping giant’.

The firm works closely with Portsmouth City Council, providing a wide range of services from street cleaning to coordinating roadworks in the city.

But beyond that, Mr Fergusson, 55, is determined to harness 95-year-old Colas’ potential and turn it into a household name. 

‘I am honoured to have been appointed to lead Colas in the UK at this time of significant change in the industry,' said Mr Fergusson.

‘We will be building on our success, which will mean embracing transformation and change.

‘My mission over the next few years is to awaken the sleeping giant and steer Colas and the people that work here to realise our full potential.’ 

A Colas employee since 1989, Mr Fergusson has held various managerial positions and steps into the shoes of former boss Lee Rushbrooke. 

The key to his firm’s future growth, he says, will be acquisition – which will mean competing to take on contracts for large-scale projects at home and abroad, while maintaining the quality of existing activities and portfolios, including the firm’s work in Portsmouth. 

In a letter to 1,600 Colas staff, Mr Fergusson said: ‘I have spent 30 years, most of my career, working in the Colas Ltd business and I am very proud of our history and what we have achieved to date.’ 

He added: ‘We have all heard the adage that it’s not the strongest that survives, but the ones most responsive to change.

‘To stand still, not to change, is equivalent to going backwards in our rapidly evolving market place.’​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

High-profile projects recently taken on by Colas include a refurbished runway for Airbus Industrie in Cheshire, a number of marine infrastructure projects in Portsmouth, and the ‘complete infrastructure’ at a new airport in Uganda.

Colas has staff at 20 sites across the country, with its headquarters in Rowfant, Sussex.