MONTREAL -- SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. says Kevin Lynch plans to step down as chair of the board of directors once a successor has been chosen by the board.

The engineering firm says the process for choosing a replacement will be led by the board's governance and ethics committee and that Lynch has asked that it be completed by no later than September.

SNC has been working to set a new strategic direction in recent months including the addition of several new senior executives and changes on its board of directors.

In a statement, Lynch, who will also step down as a director once a new chair has been found, says the shift in direction by the company should include a new chair to help guide the implementation of the company's new direction.

The company's construction division settled criminal charges in December when it pleaded guilty to a single count of fraud related to projects in Libya.

SNC is expected to release its first-quarter results and hold its annual meeting on Thursday.