Holland-Kaye Poised For Nod As Heathrow Boss
The owner of Heathrow Airport is to announce the appointment of a new chief executive as it prepares for a crucial Government decision about the location of additional runway capacity in southeast England.
Sky News understands that Heathrow Airport Holdings could name John Holland-Kaye as Colin Matthews' successor as soon as this week.
Mr Holland-Kaye, Heathrow's development director, is understood to have been competing against two external candidates, one of whom is based in Asia, during the final stages of the selection process.
His appointment, which required the approval of Heathrow's shareholders, had not yet been rubber-stamped on Tuesday, sources said.
Mr Holland-Kaye has led much of the work on the construction of the airport's new Terminal Two, an important stage in Heathrow's evolution which opens next month.
A former executive at Taylor Wimpey, the housebuilder, he would instantly become one of the UK's most high-profile businesspeople if his appointment as Heathrow's chief executive is confirmed.
Mr Matthews announced in April that he intended to step down after six years, a period in which he repaired some of the earlier damage to Heathrow's reputation for inefficiency and poor customer service.
The airport is part of the company formerly known as BAA, which was taken over by Ferrovial, the Spanish construction giant, in 2006.
Since then, a string of minority stakes in Heathrow have been sold to pension funds such as the Universities Superannuation Scheme and state-backed funds from China, Qatar and others.
Heathrow had long held the mantle of the world's busiest international airport but has been overtaken by Dubai in recent months, fuelling criticism of the Government's approach to the issue of airport capacity.
Ministers will not take a decision about the location of new runways until after next year's general election, with Heathrow shortlisted by Sir Howard Davies, who is overseeing a review of the issue.
A Heathrow spokesman declined to comment.