David Ritchie, one of the original brothers who founded Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, the world's largest equipment auction company, said he intends to retire as CEO October 31, but will continue as chairman of the board. Current senior vice president and chief financial officer Peter Blake will replace Ritchie as CEO, effective Nov. 1, company officials said.
Ritchie said he did not expect the change to impact the company's customers, employees or shareholders. "I have never fit the mold of the traditional CEO," said Ritchie. "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."
The company's board of directors also appointed Robert Armstrong, current vice president of finance, to the position of vice president, finance, and chief financial officer, also effective Nov. 1. Randall Wall will continue as president and chief operating officer and Robert Mackay will remain executive vice president.