January 18, 2013 / 5:31 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-SNC-Lavalin shakes up structure, executive team

* Company creates new resources and environment group

* Appoints ex-Amec COO to head new group

* Patrick Lamarre, head of SNC’s power group, resigns

Jan 18 (Reuters) - SNC-Lavalin’s new chief executive moved to put his stamp on Canada’s biggest engineering company on Friday, unveiling changes to its structure and executive team after a scandal-plagued year.

New CEO Robert Card, in the job since Oct. 1, appointed Neil Bruce, formerly chief operating officer of UK-based engineering company AMEC, president of SNC’s newly formed resources and environment group.

The unit will include SNC’s hydrocarbons and chemicals division, mining and metallurgy, environment and water businesses. It will be the company’s biggest revenue contributor, at nearly 40 percent, according to AltaCorp Capital analyst Maxim Sytchev.

Bruce, who will be based in the United Kingdom, will also become a member of the Office of the President, a small inner circle of SNC’s most senior executives.

“We believe the addition of Mr. Bruce to SNC’s executive team and the Office of the President is significant, given that the expertise and relationships he acquired at AMEC could be useful in developing the SNC franchise, especially in oil & gas,” Desjardins analyst Pierre Lacroix said.

SNC’s previous head of mining and metallurgy retired in September and its hydrocarbons and chemicals unit head quit in December.

SNC shares were up 5 Canadian cents at C$44.08 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday morning.

The shares have fallen 20 percent in the past year, weighed down by an ethics scandal at the 101-year-old Montreal-based company. The company’s former CEO quit in March, and was subsequently arrested in November on charges of fraud and the use of false documents.

Police are investigating allegations of corruption and money-laundering against other former company officials.

Card has said his top priority is to mitigate risk in the company and “find the very best” employees for the business.

SNC also announced on Friday that Christian Jacqui, formerly executive vice-president for Europe, has been appointed to the new role of executive vice-president of SNC’s global operations. He will also be based in Britain.

Patrick Lamarre, executive vice-president of SNC’s power operations, has resigned with immediate effect, SNC said. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Scott Thon, the current president of SNC subsidiary AltaLink, but will remain available until June 1 to ensure a smooth transition.

“These changes represent part of our ongoing effort to further strengthen the company’s management structure and extend its scope,” Card said in a statement.

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