WOOD chief executive Robin Watson has announced plans to stand down after seven years in charge of the Aberdeen-based engineering giant.

Mr Watson said he felt the time was right to step down as chief executive after leading a drive to transform Wood from a business focused on the North Sea oil services industry into a global operation with interests in a wider range of energy and industrial markets.

Noting that 2022 marks his tenth year on the Wood Board and seventh as chief executive, Mr Watson said: “ When I think back to the business I joined, it was largely focused on the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico and was almost entirely an upstream oilfield services business.

“I reflect with pride on the business we have now and the opportunities we continue to unlock in some very exciting and relevant energy markets: carbon capture, hydrogen, bio-refining, minerals processing, solar and wind energy - all alongside our well-established conventional energy business.”

Wood posted a $136 million (£106m) loss for 2021 yesterday, after incurring a $99m exceptional charge in respect of a contract in Poland, where it has suffered setbacks.

Publication of the results was delayed from March while accountants completed a review into the contract. It covers work on buildings to house the Aegis Ashore anti-missile defence facility for the US Army Corps of Engineers.

READ MORE: Shares in North Sea oil services giant plunge as it faces big loss on Polish contract

Wood inherited the contract with the Amec Foster Wheeler engineering business it acquired for £2.2 billion in 2017.

Mr Watson said: “2021 was a challenging year for the Group, with the ongoing pressures of the pandemic, mixed market conditions across our businesses and continued challenges in Projects impacting our performance. Despite this, we ended the year with positive momentum and a growing order book.”

Wood chairman Roy Franklin said Mr Watson had built a strong leadership team around him and a solid portfolio that provides the group with great opportunities.

He added: “A search process is now underway, with both internal and external candidates, and we are confident a smooth transition will follow later this year.”

Mr Watson will remain in his role until the successful candidate is in place.