New Joint Managing Directors to take the reins at WGA

WGA AU | Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec - Photo: New Joint Managing Directors to take the reins at WGA

WGA has announced changes to its leadership structure with former Aurecon Executive Ben Stapleton and WGA Director Nathan Silby to take the reins from February 2022. 

Current Joint Managing Directors Peter McBean and Nick Lelos, who took over from business’ founders Geoff Wallbridge and Mark Gilbert in 2014, have announced their decision to pass on the leadership baton after nearly eight years in the role.

The new leadership change comes as WGA reflects on 40 years’ success delivering innovative, buildable and economical solutions for clients and looks ahead to the future with a solid succession plan in place.

Peter and Nick have been integral to WGA’s success with a combined six decades of service to WGA. Under their leadership, the business has more than doubled to 400 employees with an increased annual turnover of almost $80 million.

Leading the transformation of WGA’s leadership and organisational structure, Peter and Nick have overseen many milestones, including expanding into Queensland and New Zealand, diversifying WGA’s client base into the defence sector and increasing market share across the country.

Through the transformation of WGA’s leadership and organisational structure, Peter and Nick have also re-defined WGA’s core values resulting in a Mission and Vision for the future, launched WGA’s strategic plan and created a new leadership recognition framework.

Approaching its 40-year celebration in 2022, WGA has evolved into an adaptable and versatile employee-owned business that supports and cares about its clients and people. Renewal at an executive level creates opportunities for others to take on leadership roles and, importantly, demonstrates WGA’s commitment to succession planning and continued growth.

Both highly regarded engineering community members across Australia and New Zealand, Peter and Nick, will remain a vital part of WGA’s future by retaining their board position and adding value through business development and technical engineering roles.

“Leading a business through a significant period of change, growth, and a pandemic has been both challenging and incredibly rewarding. We are proud of our achievements, and we hand over our roles knowing the business is in a place of strength, stability, and with many great opportunities ahead of us”. 

Ben, who specialises in business strategy, client relationship management and organisational performance, will bring some different perspectives to WGA. “I am honoured to co-lead this outstanding business alongside Nathan. I plan to draw on the range of experiences I have had to help continue to strengthen the WGA business and support our clients through a culture that creates opportunities for all of our team”.

With in-house knowledge of WGA’s organisational structure and company history, Nathan brings considerable operational and leadership skills along with an understanding of WGA culture to the role. “I am humbled by the opportunity to provide the support needed for our staff to excel and work on many interesting and challenging projects throughout Australia and New Zealand. WGA is a great place to work, and we have many talented and dedicated people in the business”. 

Peter and Nick will commence a 3-month leadership transition, officially handing over the reins on 7th February 2022.

“It has been a rewarding eight years in the role, and we are incredibly grateful for the support shown by our fellow leadership team, employees and clients. Our decision wasn’t taken lightly; however, we believe in providing growth opportunities. Ben and Nathan are a great cultural fit and together can guide WGA in the years ahead.”


Ben Stapleton 

Ben is an accomplished Professional Services business leader specialising in the infrastructure industry. A Civil Engineer by trade, his 25-year career has included Executive roles in multi-national organisations, equipping him with a broad range of experience and capabilities to develop and lead successful teams and consistently deliver on the client, business, and operational strategies. Ben’s passion lies in creating a sustainable business environment that adapts and thrives in unpredictable market conditions. He works to create a culture where people are empowered, have clarity and purpose, collaborate, learn and succeed.

With expertise across numerous sectors and geographies, Ben has experience leading teams across all states and territories of Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the UK, Middle East and Africa and well as in a range of sectors including Transport, Water, Social/Building infrastructure, Defence, Energy, Resources and Environmental.

He specialises in business strategy, client relationship management and organisational performance.

Nathan Silby 

A Civil Engineer with over 25 years of industry experience, Nathan has a Master’s in Business Administration. He is a recognised expert in Urban Water Management, including Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR), Stormwater Harvesting Scheme Development and Wastewater Reuse Schemes.

With a passion for Urban Water Management, Nathan has dedicated his career to providing sustainable water improvement solutions. His core strength is to future-proof today’s projects for tomorrow. His long-term vision and innate ability to think outside the square, combined with a holistic mindset and practical approach, provides clients with a sustainable solution that considers the entire project lifecycle.