LONDON — Tony Douglas, the current CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, is to replace Bernard Gray as the boss of Britain’s £14 billion (US $20.9 billion) a year Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organization, the Ministry of Defence announced.
The executive is one of Britain’s top project leaders. Aside from his current role overseeing a major airport capacity expansion in Abu Dhabi, he has previously been involved in building the Terminal 5 project at Britain’s Heathrow Airport, the Olympic Stadium in London and a huge port project in Abu Dhabi.
Among earlier jobs, he even worked for several years for what was then British Aerospace in their regional jet production facilities.
Douglas is scheduled to complete the handover with Gray toward the end of the year to become chief of defense materiel, the MoD said in a statement
In a statement, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said Douglas “brings a wealth of international experience and expertise in project and programme management, organisational leadership and business strategy, which will prove invaluable for the future of DE&S and defence as a whole.”
Asked last year by a national newspaper what motivates him, Douglas responded, “I like a challenge, I like complexity, I like it when people say ‘you can’t do that’.”
Many executives and analysts here might say that would perfectly sum up the challenge facing him at DE&S.
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