Troubled Auckland laboratory company Labtests has appointed a new chief executive to replace Ulf Lindskog, who stepped aside little more than a month into the company's new contract.

Dr Craig Marshall will take over as chief executive on November 9, replacing Paul Waterson, Labtests' interim chief executive since Mr Lindskog stepped aside in the middle of last month.

Dr Marshall, a graduate of Otago University Medical School, was for 10 years chief executive of the White Cross group of accident and emergency clinics, and for four years managed the Auckland and Northland outposts of South Island-based lab tests company Southern Community Laboratories.

Southern Community Laboratories is owned by Melbourne-based Healthscope Group, the same parent company as Labtests.

Healthscope's chief medical officer Dr Michael Coglin said Dr Marshall's key role would be to engage with doctors "to ensure excellent working relationships". Forming good relationships with doctors has been a stumbling block for Labtests, which suffered a series of complaints from GPs about the quality of its community laboratory testing service.

Immediately before joining Labtests, Dr Marshall was chief executive of taxi company Corporate Cabs.

After Health and Disability Commissioner Ron Paterson raised public safety concerns with the region's three district health boards last month, the DHBs appointed seven of their own officials to take control of safety and quality at Labtests.

The company's Australian owner, Healthscope, sent in its own senior managers to replace the chief executive and get the operation on track.

Now that Dr Marshall has been appointed, interim chief executive Paul Waterson will go back to his job as chief operating officer of Healthscope's Australian pathology business.

Labtests took over community pathology from Diagnostic Medlab in August under a new contract - worth about $70 million a year - with the region's three district health boards.

DML has since taken back a 10 per cent share of the community market - comprising private hospitals, private specialists, fertility treatment, visits to rest homes for residents unable to go out, and home visits requested by private specialists - to relieve pressure on Labtests.