McConnell Dowell is a well-respected construction contractor engaged in complex civil engineering projects. Their head office is located in Melbourne, with infrastructure contracting business units in Australia, South East Asia and New Zealand and a commercial building business unit in Australia and NZ.


Following several years of declining business performance, it was decided a new Chief Executive Officer was needed to revitalise the company and set a new course.

Having had previous experience utilising Beilby Downing Teal with another company, Non-Executive Director, Ian Luck, contacted John Downing and subsequently engaged BDT to provide the complex executive search task.

74 candidates were identified, 48 were long listed and 11 made it to short listing, 5 of which were internal candidates.

The success of this contract led BDT to be further engaged on numerous high-level assignments including;

  • Group EGM Commercial
  • Group EGM Human Resources
  • Group EGM New Business & Strategy
  • Managing Director, South East Asia
  • GM New Business & Strategy Australia
  • State Manager Victoria/Tasmania
  • State Manager WA
  • State Manager NSW
  • Operations Manager
  • Planning Manager Australia
  • Engineering Manager Australia
  • Estimating Manager Australia
  • Human Resources Manager Australia
  • 20 more junior roles

“In 2015 the then CEO of Aveng concluded after some discussion that a new CEO of McConnell Dowell was needed to revitalise the Company and set a new course. Given that Aveng CEO was based in Johannesburg, he sought my recommendation for the best Search Company for this assignment. As I had many previous successes with senior appointments using Beilby Downing Teal, I recommended that the best in the industry was John Downing. The Aveng CEO accepted my recommendation and John commenced the assignment. John has subsequently successfully recruited other senior executives into McConnell Dowell.” Ian Luck, Non-Executive Director.

Many consultants claim to work collaboratively with clients as “business partners” but John and his team at BDT actually walk the talk, and as a result MCD has had the good fortune of aligning with a true search partner as we’ve progressed through our transformation strategy.  Given our focus on leadership renewal, it has been reassuring to know that in John and his team we have people with a deep understanding of our business – both from a strategic and cultural context – who are therefore able to help us secure the top talent we need to deliver our objectives” Steve Collett, Executive General Manager Human Resources, McConnell Dowell Corporation

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