manufacturing and transportation | BCBusiness
CEO Peter Blake is leaving Ritchie Bros.
After 23 years with Ritchie Bros., 10 as CEO, Peter Blake is leaving the company to be CEO of WesternOne
After announcing last October that he is stepping down as CEO of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc., Peter Blake announced today that he will become CEO of WesternOne Inc., a supplier of services to construction and infrastructure companies, effective September 1.
Blake started with Ritchie Bros as controller in 1991, and has been CEO since 2004.
“I think the company is ready to move to the next stage and I felt one of the reasons it was being held back was the fact that I was here for 23 years,” Blake told BCBusiness. “I had a discussion with the board and I think it’s the right time for us to embrace some other leadership-level thinking.”
Blake said that he had no other destination in mind when he made his decision to leave Ritchie Bros., but he knew WesternOne CEO Darren Latoski and chair Robert King socially. Latoski passed away suddenly last September, after Blake had made his decision to leave but before he had announced it publicly. Blake says he met with WesternOne’s search firm this spring, leading to today’s announcement of his hiring.
During Blake’s 10 years as CEO of Ritchie Bros, the company’s revenue grew from US$182.3 million to US$467.4 million. Blake says the company expects about $4 billion worth of industrial equipment to change hands through Ritchie Bros. auctions this year.
The next growth phase will come as the company takes advantage of economic growth in the U.S., Blake said.
WesternOne, founded in 2006, has two business divisions. WesternOne Infrastructure Services supplies heating to construction projects in the north as well as aerial crane equipment to construction projects and movie sets. The other division, Britco LP, provides modular housing and other buildings for customers in the construction and resource sectors. (WesternOne bought Britco in 2011.)
WesternOne lost $17 million on revenue of $377.6 million in 2013.
Recalling his 23 years with Ritchie Bros, Blake said, “We drove over and around a lot of potholes in those years and I think I can help WesternOne through the same process, to grow from where they are to where they can be.”