Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated (NYSE & TSX: RBA, the “Company” or “Ritchie Bros.”) today announces several changes to its reporting structure and senior management team.

Having completed an extensive review of Company operations and historical performance, Ravi Saligram, Chief Executive Officer, is now in the process of developing a strategic roadmap for the Company, which will be disclosed on January 12, 2015, at an Investor and Analyst Day in New York.  Mr. Saligram is committed to driving shareholder value and will initially focus on reinvigorating revenue and earnings growth, optimizing capital allocation and structure, and improving Return on Net Assets (RONA).

To better align Company leadership with these focus areas, Mr. Saligram is implementing a new organizational structure with the following objectives:

  • Put in place regional business leaders with a strong general management focus to drive sustainable, profitable growth and cash flow of the core auction business
  • Implement a more localized and decentralized structure to be more responsive and agile as a company, meet local customer needs, and foster an increased sense of urgency
  • Become more externally focused, and tailor ‘go to market’ approaches based on customer needs and geographic differences
  • Put in place a strong data-centric, customer focused leadership team to exploit new channels, models and services and increase market share
  • Leverage vast customer and equipment data, and improve analytical rigor to develop powerful insights which will sharpen our strategic focus  and strengthen our customer value proposition

Effective immediately, three regional business leaders have been appointed to oversee and drive regional performance.  Randy Wallhas been appointed President, Canada; Jeroen Rijk has been appointed SVP, Managing Director, Europe; and, Kieran Holm has been appointed VP, Managing Director, Asia Pacific.  Reporting structures into these regional leaders will transition over the coming weeks, and are expected to be in place early in 2015.  The regional leaders will oversee all sales, operations, field marketing and support functions, with full P&L and cash flow responsibilities in their respective regions, and will report into Mr. Saligram.  The Company will shortly initiate a search for the role of President – U.S. and Latin America.  In the interim, Mr. Saligram will directly oversee this business.

Ritchie Bros. is also pleased to announce the appointment of Jim Barr as Group President, Emerging Businesses, Brand Innovation and Technology Services.  In this role, Mr. Barr will oversee EquipmentOne, Ritchie Bros. Financial Services, and the Company’s marketing and information technology departments.  He will also be responsible for developing new revenue channels through complementary products and services.  Mr. Barr was most recently Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at OfficeMax, where he led the development of a digital and omni-channel transformational growth strategy and roadmap, turning digital services into a growth engine for the company. Previously, Mr. Barr held roles as President, Online, at Sears Holding Corporation; General Manager, Commerce & Marketplaces at Microsoft Corporation, where he launched and led several marketplace businesses, including comparison shopping, auctions, online classifieds listings and the Windows Marketplace; and General Manager, Business Development, MSN, at Microsoft Corporation.  He will divide his time between Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Houston and Austin, where his teams operate.  Kenton Low, Chief Marketing Officer, Bill Cooksley, SVP Information Technology, and Chris Connell, President of EquipmentOne, will report to Mr. Barr.  He will also work closely with Jim Case, CEO of Ritchie Bros. Financial Services.

Randy Wall, President of Canada, will be based out of Vancouver.  He was most recently Chief Productivity Officer, and prior to that,President and Chief Operating Officer, having rejoined the Company in 2013.  Jeroen  Rijk, SVP and Managing Director of Europe, will be based out of the Company’s Breda, Netherlands, office.  Jeroen has over 19 years of experience at Ritchie Bros., and was most recently Head of Sales for all of Europe.  He was instrumental in growing Ritchie Bros.’ presence in southern Europe and recruiting key leadership roles for the region.   Kieran Holm, VP and Managing Director of Asia Pacific, will be relocating to Japan and will oversee the Company’s Asia and Australia performance.  Most recently, Mr. Holm was a regional VP of Sales in the U.S. and previously pioneered Ritchie Bros.’ expansion into new market segments.  Mr. Holm received his MBA from McGill University (Tokyocampus) and has previously spent many years living in Japan.

Karl Werner will take on the additional responsibility of Managing Director, Middle East on an interim basis.  In his primary role as Chief Operational Support and Development Officer he will be strategically focused on global operational excellence, driving operational innovations and overseeing online operations.  Specifically, Mr. Werner will be responsible for developing and implementing company-wide operational processes, metrics and standards; ensuring our operational competencies remain a distinct competitive advantage; promoting the use of operational best practices globally; ensuring global consistency in the customer experience; and, supporting the regional business leaders to improve RONA. Mr. Werner will continue to report to Mr. Saligram.

As part of the new organizational structure and priorities for the Company, the corporate CFO role will be expanded to place more emphasis on capital allocation, and will also oversee the Company’s legal, internal audit and risk management activities.  In this context, Rob McLeod, current CFO, will transition to a new role as CFO, Americas, in 2015, and will be responsible for the financial functions in Canada, U.S., and Latin America.  Rob will play an integral role in partnering with an externally hired President – U.S. andLatin America, to unlock the full potential of the key U.S. market.  Mr. McLeod’s vast knowledge of operations and financial matters at the Company will add tremendous value to this strategically important position.  The Company will initiate a search for the new corporate CFO shortly.  Mr. McLeod will continue to act as the Company’s CFO until the position is filled.

Both Mr. Werner and Mr. McLeod will continue to be based out of the Company’s Vancouver headquarters.

As part of this reorganization, Steve Simpson will assume the role of Chief Sales Officer, Global Key Accounts – focusing on securing large special situation contracts, and driving incremental business development.  Mr. Simpson will also have a key role in corporate development initiatives targeted to expand the Company’s core auction business in priority sectors, and will oversee the Company’s Pricing and Appraisals department.  He will continue to be based out of Ritchie Bros.’ Fort Worth, Texas, office, and will manage a focused international team, exclusively dedicated to special situation business development, such as securing contracts for full corporate dispersals, international mine closures, and large scale oil and gas asset redeployment.

“Our new regional structure, with its clear lines of accountability and performance focus, will be foundational in reinvigorating growth through disciplined execution.  I am confident that with the caliber of our new Executive Team we will be able to improve returns and drive shareholder value,” noted Ravi Saligram, Chief Executive Officer.  “I’m also delighted to welcome Jim Barr to Ritchie Bros. as Group President.  He has an exceptional track record of success in growing multi-channel businesses by uniquely leveraging core business channel capabilities and connecting them to the digital world.  His skill set makes him an ideal leader to realize the full potential of EquipmentOne, scale Ritchie Bros. Financial Services and pioneer new products, models & services.”

It is also with great regret that Ritchie Bros. announces that Bob Armstrong will be leaving the Company at year end.  During his 18 years with the Company, Bob played a leadership role in many key projects, including our IPO, the development of our internet bidding service and the recent launch of our EquipmentOne online marketplace.  He held many executive positions during this time, including CFO, COO and, most recently, Chief Strategic Development Officer.