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Builders merchant Travis Perkins has recruited Atkins boss Nick Roberts to be its new chief executive. He succeeds John Carter, who is stepping down after 40 years with Travis Perkins.

Nick Roberts was chief executive of listed consulting engineer WS Atkins in the UK & Europe when it was acquired by Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin in 2017. Hen then became president of Atkins and a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group’s executive committee.

He will join Travis Perkins as CEO on 1st July 2019 and take over from John Carter a month later.

Travis Perkins chairman Stuart Chambers paid tribute to the departing chief executive, saying “John has given over 40 years of dedicated service to Travis Perkins, serving as a director for 18 years and as CEO for the last five years, substantially improving the business during his tenure as CEO. He has led the group through periods of major change and demonstrated strong leadership during a period of significant investment and considerable market uncertainty. He has been the architect of the strategy to reshape the group, refocusing on delivering best-in-class service to our trade customers, and simplifying the group, including the planned sale of the Plumbing & Heating business after its successful transformation. John will leave as his legacy a strong trade focused management team which is well-placed to deliver the group’s strategy”.

Of the new man, he said “Nick has the breadth of skills needed to grown the business and to build on the strategy outlined in December. He has deep experience of the construction, design and engineering industries, which coupled with his successes in the adoption of digital, will prove invaluable in driving the group’s strategy into the future”.

John Carter said “I have invested my working life with Travis Perkins and I am exceptionally proud to have spent the last five years leading the business as CEO. It has been a privilege to lead such a great company which has been built and sustained by the effort of colleagues right across the group. Although it is early days, I am pleased that the new strategy which we set out in 2018 is being successfully implemented and I look forward to working with Nick to build on this momentum and ensure sustained progress towards the group’s longer term strategic goals. I will leave in place a very talented and experienced leadership team who collectively have over 200 years’ experience of merchanting and are focused on delivering excellent service to our core trade customers”.