John Holland business reset

John Holland has today announced changes to its business in response to the impact of COVID-19 on key markets, and significant challenges in the construction industry.

CEO Joe Barr informed employees and customers of the changes, designed to ensure the business grows sustainably as a tier one infrastructure, building and rail company.

“Our business, and the Australian construction industry as a whole, has undergone significant challenges over the last year. The effects of these challenges have been compounded by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on some of our key markets,” Mr Barr said.

“After reporting a loss in 2019, we took steps to address our profitability that included a hiring and wage freeze, the cancellation of executive bonuses, and a more strategic approach to the projects we bid for.

“Regrettably, it is clear that this is not enough. We have to heighten our focus on business sustainability. This has been a very hard decision to make, but one that is essential to ensure a strong future.”

The key changes include:

  • A new major projects division will lead infrastructure projects with a value greater than $1.5bn, in recognition of the unique challenges they face, and to improve customer outcomes.
  • Our Infrastructure business will move from separate state-based operations to become a national business, with representation at a state level to ensure consistent service and delivery across Australia.
  • South East Asia will refocus on delivering existing projects and review our ongoing investment in the region.
  • Some redundancies, with a focus on corporate and overhead employees.


“This has been a very hard time, and sadly, it will mean we will lose some talented and valued members of our team,” Mr Barr said.

“The construction industry is facing significant challenges, particularly regarding the allocation of risk, and it is our responsibility to ensure John Holland remains a sustainable business. We have a proud 70-year-history in Australia, and it is these difficult decisions that will allow us to remain strong into the future.”