Ex-Carillion boss joins US tech firm after UK director ban

Former Carillion chief executive Richard Howson has become president of a Florida-based energy tech company, months after being banned from directing UK companies.

Howson was the chief executive of Carillion from December 2011 to July 2017 – six months before the UK’s second-largest construction company entered liquidation with £7bn of liabilities and £29m of cash.

In October Howson was banned from being a director of a UK company for eight years. The Insolvency Service said that while he led Carillion, the company had published “misleading” market announcements, “false accounting” and results that “falsified and concealed” the reality of problem jobs.

Howson has now become president (construction) for TECfusions, working onsite at its office in Tampa, according to his LinkedIn profile. Construction News contacted the company to confirm the appointment, which was first reported by The Guardian, but had not heard back by the time of publication.

TECfusions describes itself as a “responsible technology creation firm” that operates in data-centre ownership, maintenance and design, as well as carbon capture, turbines and hydrotreated vegetable-oil fuel.

The company also says it aims to “change the face of technology industry [sic] by being changemakers” including through its “corporate culture, strong core values and professional excellence”.

TECfusions was founded in 2023 and has between 11-50 employees, according to its LinkedIn page.

Howson was also provisionally fined £397,800 by the Financial Conduct Authority, which criticised Carillion’s misleading financial statements. However, the Upper Tribunal is yet to determine whether to uphold the fine.

The FCA said the proposed fine for Howson and two other former executives was in respect of “misleadingly positive statements about Carillion’s financial performance generally and in relation to its UK construction business in particular”.

Rudi Klein, former chief executive of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group, which represented hundreds of Carillion suppliers, told the The Guardian: “The consequences [of Carillion’s collapse] for thousands upon thousands of suppliers were that either they went under themselves, or they lost phenomenal amounts of money.

“They will be appalled, they would have been thinking, ‘OK, that’s it, at least this guy and his colleagues can’t be involved in the management of a company any more’, now they find this out, there will be a lot of anger.”

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