Contract Journal exclusively revealed last month that the hunt was on for a successor to Dodds with four high profile figures - two internal and two external - pitched against each other.
Kier confirmed to the Stock Exchange this morning that Sheffield has won the succession race.
He joined Kier as a graduate civil engineer in 1983 and gained extensive experience in UK and international contracting before his appointment as managing director of Kier Construction in 2001.
Sheffield joined the Kier Regional board in 2004 and was appointed to the Group Board in October 2005 and currently has responsibility for the Group's construction, infrastructure and overseas businesses.ADVERTISEMENT
Dodds said: "I've worked with Paul for over 25 years and I am absolutely convinced that he is the right man to lead Kier into the future. Paul is highly talented and I look forward to working with him to ensure a seamless transition during the lead up to my retirement."
Chairman Phil White said: "Following a thorough selection process of internal and external candidates, we are delighted to appoint Paul Sheffield as John's successor. We believe that Paul's experience, skills and intimate knowledge of the business provides a very firm foundation for building on the excellent work that John has achieved.
"I would very much like to thank John for the leadership, commitment and direction he has shown Kier in his seven years as Chief Executive."
Tenders invited for £23m college buildingEd Hardy’s expertise led Great American Country to gains