Woods Bagot Group Managing Director, Ross Donaldson has been appointed as Executive Chairman, effective from 1 March 2015.

Appointed by Woods Bagot’s board and shareholders to the newly created executive role, Donaldson will continue to work in the business in a full time capacity after he steps down as Group Managing Director. Ross will draw upon the knowledge gathered during his eight years as Group Managing Director, and a long history within the architecture industry to carefully steer the firm along a path of growth.

Since Ross’ move to Asia in 2007 to focus on the region and grow the northern hemisphere business, Woods Bagot’s Asia business has grown from 5 per cent of revenue and zero profit to approximately 25 per cent of revenue and 30 per cent of profit.

Ross predicts that investment from China will keep fuelling domestic construction in Australia. The deregulation in China and the slowing of the Chinese market are expected to create a double incentive for the investment capital outflow, particularly to New York, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

A former academic, Ross drove the firm’s investment in research and emphasis on sector specialisation and academic partnerships. Through his earlier Education and Science sector leadership role, he published Public #2: Education Futures and more recently led collaborations with Stanford University, Columbia University and Buro Happold with Zero-E.

Ross will additionally take up a prestigious Adjunct Professorship at the University of Western Australia.

Woods Bagot will appoint a current director to the Group Managing Director role for the global architecture firm in March.