Breedon Aggregates has announced that Pat Ward, currently CEO of Aggregate Industries Europe (a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim) (AI), has agreed to join the company as group CEO.

He will succeed Simon Vivian, who, having led Breedon since its creation has indicated his wish to step down as group CEO and will move to a non-executive role with the company. Mr Ward is expected to join Breedon early next year once the terms of his departure from AI have been agreed and the required regulatory announcement will be made at that time.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr Vivian, said: “I’m tremendously proud of what we have achieved at Breedon and would like to thank everyone who has helped to create the business we have today. The company has doubled in size since Breedon’s formation in 2010 and we have a great team with a unique blend of experience and capability.”

Mr Ward added: “I’m delighted to be joining the UK’s largest independent aggregates business, having watched with interest the great progress made by Breedon since 2010. It’s clear to me that it has been able to flourish through a combination of the commitment and dedication of its employees and the strong leadership of Peter and Simon. “I look forward to playing my part in the next leg of Breedon’s journey.”

Commenting on Mr Ward’s appointment, Peter Tom CBE, Breedon’s executive chairman, said: “We’re fortunate to have persuaded one of the most successful and experienced executives in our industry to lead our business through the next phase of its growth.

“I’ve known Pat for more than 20 years and it’s rare to find someone with his combination of deep industry knowledge and outstanding leadership skills. It’s a measure of our achievement over the last five years that such a highly-respected figure within one of the world’s biggest building materials groups should decide to join the Breedon team.

“In welcoming Pat, I would also like to pay tribute to Simon Vivian on behalf of the board, our shareholders and employees – all of whom have prospered under his stewardship. Simon has overseen Breedon’s evolution into a leading player in the UK building materials sector and we have reason to be enormously grateful to him for his leadership. He and his management team have delivered an exceptional performance during a period of unprecedented economic and market challenges for our industry.

“Simon leaves the company in great shape and in good hands. We’re particularly delighted that he will remain with us as a non-executive director, enabling us to continue to take advantage of his experience and counsel.”