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MARCH 2012
Robust
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MOVERS AND SHAPERS

People

Robust profiles the key people who have shaped Murray & Roberts into South Africa’s leading engineering, contracting and construction services company.

JOHN MURRAY (1902 1929)

John Murray

John Murray established Murray & Stewart in partnership with James Stewart. The two young Scottish immigrants had come to South Africa in search of opportunities.


DOUGLAS MURRAY (1924 1964)

Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray inherited Murray & Stewart from his father in 1928 and co-founded The Roberts Construction Company in 1934 with his friend and colleague, Douglas Roberts. They were later joined by Andrew Roberts. Douglas Murray’s strategy was geographically focused on the Cape and sought growth by diversifying into construction materials and services and the industrial sector.


DOUGLAS ROBERTS (1924 – 1979) AND ANDREW ROBERTS (1936 – 1967)

Douglas Roberts Andrew Roberts

Douglas, also known as JD, and Andrew Roberts focused on the construction sector and diversified into Africa and elsewhere. JD Roberts was well known in the construction industry for his entrepreneurial flair and passion for experimenting with new techniques. Murray & Roberts introduced the JD Roberts Award in 1980 to recognise scientific research into technology that enhances the quality of life of all South Africans.


DES BAKER (EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN 1964 – 1982)

Des Baker

Des Baker succeeded Douglas Murray in 1964. A long-serving executive of Murray & Roberts, Baker, in partnership with Bill Bramwell, was the architect of a merged and more industrialised Murray & Roberts over the period between 1967 and 1979. Baker was a well respected personality in the construction and industrial world, known for his progressive thinking. The annual Des Baker Award for students of architecture was introduced in 1983 in recognition of Des Baker.

DAVE BRINK (CE AND CHAIRMAN, 1985 - 2000)

Dave Brink

Dave Brink joined Murray & Roberts in 1970 as manager of RUC Mining Contracting. He was first appointed an executive director in 1984, followed by his appointment as chief executive in 1985 and chairman in 1994. Brink returned to Murray & Roberts in 1998 as executive chairman and managing director and became a non-executive chairman in 2000 until he retired in 2003. A widely respected South African businessman, he oversaw a period of acquisition and diversification as Murray & Roberts sought growth at a time when South Africa was politically isolated from the world and the construction sector was in decline.


BRIAN BRUCE (CE, 2000 – 2011)

Brian Bruce

Brian Bruce was appointed group CE in 2000 until his retirement in 2011. Bruce joined the Group in 1967 and led a range of group operations over the years. His decisive leadership rebuilt Murray & Roberts into the globally competitive contracting and engineering business it is today. Bruce has been an active leader and participant in the development of the regional and international construction and engineering sector. His work has been recognised by numerous awards and he has served as president of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering and chairman of the Construction Industry Development Board.

HENRY LAAS (CE, 2011 – CURRENT)

Henry Laas

Henry Laas was appointed CE in 2010. He was previously MD of Murray & Roberts Cementation. His track record of business development and management positioned him to lead Murray & Roberts into a new era of recovery and growth.