He is to be replaced by David Weir, who was managing director of Cleanaway Waste Services until last autumn. John Phillips, the senior operations director and one of the trio who built Caird from a sleepy property company, has also left the group.
There is speculation in the City that Caird may also recruit a new finance director to take over from Christopher Parker, the third member of the original management team still on the board.
Today's announcement of Caird's full- year results are expected to show a fall from pounds 6.8m to around pounds 4.25m; a drop foreshadowed by the profit warning that the company issued in November.
This was the second warning. The first came during the pounds 78m takeover bid from Severn Trent in 1990 and led the water group to withdraw its offer.
It was also revealed at the time that the fraud squad was investigating transactions involving Caird and a former director, Brian Masterson, who resigned in 1990. Mr Masterson has recently been charged with offences relating to the inquiry.
John Ashton, Caird's chairman, said that there had been quite a bit of pressure from investors for Mr Linacre to go.
'Peter is not exactly the most popular of people in the City,' Mr Ashton said. 'This has been on the cards for months.'
It is understood that neither Mr Linacre nor Mr Phillips will be receiving more than a few months' pay as compensation for loss of office.
Caird's shares, which have fallen from a high of 234p in 1990, rose 0.5p to 23.5p on the news, and analysts expect a steady rise after today's figures.