Investors have welcomed news that former Doric and John Holland manager Adam Harry has been named Diploma Group’s new chief operating officer and head of construction.
The property developer announced today that Mr Harry, a former 40under40 award winner, would begin in the new role from January 11 next year.
Shares in Diploma bounced back from an all-time low of 1 cent per share, closing 50 per cent higher to 1.5 cents each.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Harry said he saw Diploma as a company with a lot of potential.
“I’ve been away for a couple of years doing my own little things and that’s been pretty good, but I miss the bigger end of town and that’s really my 20 years’ of experience, so I guess it’s a long term project for me,” Mr Harry told Business News.
“Building a great company over the long term is the vision.”
He then moved to the position of operations director, northern infrastructure, where he oversaw the John Holland’s infrastructure operations across, WA, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
He left the business in late 2013 and launched his private construction company Echelon in February last year.
“I’ve still got Echelon trading... but from January 11 Diploma’s going to be my focus,” Mr Harry said.
“Given my background I’ve had a lot of opportunities that have come, which in the first year or so [after leaving John Holland] I turned off because I really wanted a break, but the phones kept ringing and I guess what Diploma gives me is the opportunity to be a fundamental member of the team.
“It gives me what I need as a professional, so it’s a good fit.”
In a statement, Diploma chief executive Nick Di Latte said Mr Harry’s unique skills built over a 20-year career in construction would be a great asset for Diploma, and would provide the catalyst for growth over the coming years.
“Adam has a proud history of transforming infrastructure-related businesses,” Mr Di Latte said.
“He had a significant impact on the performance of John Holland’s business during his tenure with the company, realising record year-on-year profitability and growth, delivered within an economically challenging environment through the global financial crisis.”
Commenting on Diploma’s recent performance, Mr Di Latte told Business News interest had been strong for its projects in Subiaco and Scarborough.
“If you’ve got projects in locations that aren’t the same as where everyone else has and you’re offering something that’s a little bit different, the traction in the market will be there,” Mr Di Latte said.
“We’re excited about getting those projects to market in the coming weeks.”
Mr Di Latte also said on the construction front, the company was pricing a number of opportunities.
“Adam coming in with his experience in the market place and contacts are certainly going to assist our business to grow our order book moving forward,” he said.
The appointment follows news last month that the Di Latte family had cancelled plans to buy all the shares it didn’t own in Diploma and privatise the business.