Gary Bell has not actually said when he plans to retire yet but he turns 65 in July 2017 and has formally named Leon Goosen as his successor, following “an extensive internal, local and international search process by an external service provider”.
Leon Goosen, aged 45, was a partner at Deloitte & Touche in South Africa and Namibia before joining Bell in 2007. He has been an executive director since January 2009 and has been COO since December 2014.
Chairman John Barton said: "We are delighted to be able to appoint at the helm of Bell Equipment a successor of Leon’s calibre. As chief operating officer Leon has worked very closely with the board and Gary over the past eight years, and has made a considerable contribution to the strategic direction of the group.”
He said: "By announcing the successor now we will have the benefit of a smooth handover in the chief executive's office during the transition period.”
Gary Bell added: "In the past years Leon has stepped up to his operational role and his knowledge and understanding of what is a very complex business has developed particularly well, and the executive team at Bell is very supportive of his appointment. I take this opportunity to congratulate Leon on his appointment and I have every confidence that he will lead the business to greater heights in the years ahead as we roll out our agreed plans.
"In an effort to ensure a smooth transition and retain the Bell family linkages it is envisaged that I will continue to play a meaningful role on the board and, along with Ashley Bell's presence on the board, we can steer the business and retain the all-important family culture and sentiment that is core to the Bell business today."
A date for the final appointment to the CEO position will be taken in due course, the company said.