THE chairman of under-fire building and services support group Jarvis has quit.
The group said today that Paris Moayedi had decided to step down after nine years at the helm.
He will be succeeded on a temporary basis by Steven Norris, senior independent director at Jarvis and Tory candidate for London Mayor.
The move came as the group unveiled a 77% rise in half-year pre-tax profits to £33.7m on turnover 24% ahead at £710m.
Mr Moayedi, 65, said the recent appointment of Kevin Hyde as chief executive meant he was now in a position to step down.
It is understood that Mr Moayedi will get about £400,000 in compensation in relation to his 12 months' notice period.
Under Mr Moayedi's leadership, Jarvis was transformed from a traditional building firm with 600 staff to a contractor and private finance initiative specialist with 10,500 staff.
Jarvis was awarded a multi-million pound contract to repair and maintain 20 Kirklees schools.
But the group faced criticism after several schools were late re-opening after the summer holidays.
Last week, unions criticised Jarvis for wanting cleaners at the schools to accept 48-week contracts.
Jarvis has also been criticised after failing to complete a schools refurbishment scheme in Merseyside.
And Jarvis is at the centre of the Potters Bar rail crash inquiry - as points were maintained by the company at the time of the accident.
In September, Jarvis admitted that it could be responsible for a derailment outside King's Cross station in London after Jarvis contractors removed a damaged section for overnight repairs but failed to replace it.
Last month, Jarvis said it had decided to pull out of rail maintenance contracts with Network Rail.
However, Jarvis will continue to develop its track renewal business.