(Adds detail, shareholder vote on CEO, background)
PARIS, April 15 (Reuters) - Vinci Chief Executive Xavier Huillard said on Tuesday he would propose naming Vinci Autoroutes head Pierre Coppey as deputy CEO, a new role where he would be tasked with driving the group’s “highly strategic” concessions business.
Huillard, whose own mandate was extended for four more years with 78.8 percent of votes, told Vinci’s annual shareholder meeting he would propose Coppey’s appointment to the board of directors later on Tuesday.
Europe’s biggest builder, Vinci has recently been expanding into higher-growth, higher-margin concessions such as airports and motorways, and recently agreed to sell the bulk of its parking lot business to free up cash for acquisitions.
French website Atlantico had reported last Friday that Huillard would suggest handing Coppey this new role to put him in a favourable position to succeed him as CEO in 2018.
Coppey, 50, studied political sciences and journalism and worked in public relations for national mail operator La Poste before joining Vinci 22 years ago. He took the helm of Vinci’s toll road unit Cofiroute in 2007 and has chaired Vinci Autoroutes since 2009.
Huillard, 59, is a trained engineer who became Vinci’s deputy chief executive in 2002, its chief executive in 2006 and its CEO in 2010. He was paid 1.9 million euros last year.
Reporting by Natalie Huet and Gilles Guillaume; Editing by James Regan and Andrew Callus