Cape appoints Joe Oatley as new chief executive after profits warning


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The energy engineering services group Cape has parachuted in a new chief executive days after a shock profits warning wiped nearly 40 per cent off its value.

Cape has named Joe Oatley, the former chief executive of oil and gas engineer Hamworthy, to run the business from the end of June, replacing acting boss Brendan Connolly, who has been at the helm since Martin May unexpectedly quit in March "to pursue a new challenge" after six years in charge.

Mr Oatley joined Hamworthy as chief executive in 2007 and ran the business until its recent takeover by the Finnish ship and power plant engine maker Wartsila.

He joins at a crucial time for Cape. Last week, the group revealed that a massive energy project it is working on in Algeria will make a loss. The company, which is chaired by the former Tory energy minister Tim Eggar, said it will take a £14m hit on the project. It was awarded the £30m contract to supply all the insulation material for a huge new liquefied natural gas terminal in Arzew, Algeria, in 2010.