UK's Serco appoints ex-Atkins MD Phil Malem as Middle East CEO

Malem, previously managing director of engineering and design at Atkins MEA, will lead a 4,500-strong workforce in his new role

Phil Malem is Serco Middle East's new CEO.
Phil Malem is Serco Middle East's new CEO.

Phil Malem has been appointed chief executive officer of UK-headquartered facilities management (FM) giant Serco Middle East, replacing Scott Ashby, the group’s chief financial officer who until recently served as interim CEO.

Before joining the FM company’s Middle East business, Malem was managing director of engineering and design at the Middle East and Africa (MEA) unit of construction consultancy Atkins. He also led the firm's transport and infrastructure business in the region between August 2016 and January 2018.

“[Ashby] will be supporting and handing over to [Malem] over the next few months and will return to his role as CFO,” a spokesperson for Serco Middle East told Construction Week.

Serco said Malem is a “specialist in the energy sector”, noting career highlights such as his role as a nuclear site director in the UK. 

Based in Dubai, as Serco Middle East's CEO, he will lead 4,500 employees in his new role, delivering services for the healthcare, rail, aviation, and education sectors.

Speaking on the move, Malem said: “I am especially pleased to have joined when our contract with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) for the operations and maintenance of the Dubai Metro has just been extended by two years, effective until September 2021.”

Malem added: “We will continue to ensure leading operational performance, with 99.9% availability and 99.5% punctuality. Last year saw us surpass a record 204 million journeys and we look forward to the challenges ahead in 2019 and beyond.”

Robert Soames, group chief executive of Serco Group, added: “Phil brings with him many years’ experience of the Middle East successfully delivering world-class services to a wide range of customers.”

Serco announced its $185.1m (AED680m) two-year operation and maintenance contract extension with the RTA earlier this month. Under the contract, the company will continue providing operational and maintenance services for Dubai Metro and Route 2020, including assets such as trains, railways, and stations.

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