Former McKinsey consultant takes the reins of Atkins in UAE

15 June 2020 2 min. read

The United Arab Emirates business of Atkins has a new boss: former McKinsey consultant Johan Hesselsøe.

After serving McKinsey & Company for over a decade in Denmark and the UAE, Hesselsøe joined UK-headquartered engineering consulting firm Atkins – part of Canadian company, SNC-Lavalin – at the start of 2016. 

The Dane was named Managing Director of Atkins Acuity, the strategic and financial advisory arm of Atkins, for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Atkins Acuity provides mainly technical and management advice to clients in the infrastructure, transport and energy industries.

After holding the role for three years, in August last year, Hesselsøe was appointed as Managing Director of the Middle East and Africa business of Faithful+Gould, which is the project and programme management consultancy division of Atkins and SNC-Lavalin. 

Johan Hesselsøe, Managing Director UAE, Atkins

Having successfully grown both businesses, Hesselsøe has now been promoted to Head of the firm’s UAE division, overseeing all three brands in the market (Atkins, Faithful+Gould and Atkins Acuity). Hesselsøe brings over 13 years of experience in the region to the role. 

Meanwhile, thirty year Atkins veteran Ian Redmayne has been appointed as Head of the three brands in the Saudi Arabia market. Together with their management teams, Hesselsøe and Redmayne will manage the company’s business growth strategy tailored to each country’s local requirements. 

Since establishing a presence in the Middle East 50 years ago, Atkins has delivered a range of flagship projects. In the UAE, the company is currently supporting clients such as The Roads and Transport Authority, Modon and Miral on a number of transformational projects. In Saudi Arabia, Atkins is most cited for its work on the King Abdulaziz International Airport and Riyadh Metro.

The appointments of Hesselsøe and Redmayne are part of the launch of a new business structure in the Middle East, which places the UAE and Saudi Arabia at its core. Cris Dedigama, the CEO of Atkins MEA, explained: “The MEA region continues to offer great opportunities for our business and this new structure will enable us to be laser-focused in our services and delivery to very localised and dynamic market and client needs.”