Ritchie Bros. Announces Senior Management Succession Plans

Thu August 05, 2004 - Northeast Edition

Ritchie Bros. announced Aug. 4 that Peter J. Blake, currently senior vice president and chief financial officer of Ritchie Bros. and a director of the company, will become the Chief Executive Officer of the company on Nov. 1, 2004.

David E. Ritchie, one of the company’s founders, its largest shareholder and currently chairman and chief executive officer, has informed the board of directors that he intends to resign as CEO on Oct. 31 but will remain chairman of the board.

“I am extremely proud of the team of managers that is running our company,” Ritchie said. “By announcing my intentions at this time, Peter [Blake] will have the opportunity to transition into his new leadership role. Having worked with Peter for 13 years, I know that he is an extremely capable manager — I am confident that Peter and the other members of our management team will do an excellent job of leading this company as we continue with our growth and expansion plans.”

Ritchie also said that he did not expect the change in leadership to have any impact on the company’s customers. employees or shareholders.

“I have never fit the mold of the traditional CEO,” he said. “My focus has always been and will continue to be on customer service. I’ll still be attending and working at auctions, meeting with customers and making sure that we continue to provide the highest possible level of customer service. Peter and other members of our senior management team have been heavily involved in the day-to-day management and strategic direction of the company for many years, which is why I am confident that this will be a smooth transition.”

In addition to accepting Ritchie’s resignation and Blake’s appointment as CEO at a meeting on Aug. 4, 2004, the company’s board of directors also appointed Robert S. Armstrong, currently the company’s vice president finance, to the position of vice president finance and chief financial officer effective Nov. 1, 2004. Armstrong also will remain the company’s corporate secretary. Randall J. Wall will remain president and chief operating officer, and Robert K. Mackay will remain executive vice president.

“While Dave [Ritchie] will still be playing an active role in the business, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave, on behalf of the board and all 600 employees of Ritchie Bros., for having the vision and persistence to establish and grow our company,” Blake said.

“The unreserved auction business that Dave and his brothers founded over 40 years ago has provided us with the opportunity to participate in a business founded on integrity, honesty, and an uncompromising work ethic, to develop and grow, and to have fun while we were doing it. Thank you also for providing the living example of how to ’do it right’ and how to treat our colleagues and customers with respect, fairness and integrity.”

Ritchie Bros. is the world’s largest auctioneer of industrial equipment, operating through more than 90 locations in more than 20 countries around the world. The company sells, through unreserved public auctions, a broad range of used and unused industrial equipment including equipment utilized in the construction, transportation, mining, forestry, petroleum, marine and agricultural industries.

For more information, visit www.rbauction.com.