April 2014

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28 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | April 2014 One-On-One target date for announcing the new president and CEO is May 1. Ritchie Bros. is currently down to a short list and all the candidates, he says, "are highly impressive individuals." The biggest advice he has for choosing the next leader of the company is to make sure that person is the right cultural fit with the organization. "There is the adage that culture eats strategy for break- fast," Blake said. Although Ritchie Bros is quite strategic, the culture is very strong and carries the organization. "We have lots and lots of talented people here," he said. "I think good leaders today need to spend a lot of time listening. They need to rely on our amazingly talented people who bring with them their wisdom." Ever the advocate for Ritchie Bros., Blake added: "If you think this organization fits you, then call our people depart- ment because we are hiring." What are your plans for retirement? Although he is retiring from Ritchie Bros., Blake says it doesn't mean he is out of the game. "I'm calling it my 'first' retire- ment," he said. And the company is well positioned for continued success and ready to forge ahead. "The organization is at the right inflection point," Blake said. "There are now 44 auction sites around the world. I took a look in the mirror and said to myself that it was time to bring someone else in here who hasn't 'been there, done that.' I recognize that it's time to bring in some new energy. I know what I am good at and what I am not good at. I'm good at building an organization from where we were and building on the footprint and delivering value to shareholders, but the company is ready to be taken to the next level." Although Blake says he could easily stay at Ritchie Bros. for several more years, "10 years as a public company CEO is longer than the average. My decision was not an easy deci- sion to make, but it is the right one for the organization." In this "first retirement," Blake says one of the first things he's looking forward to is watching the World Cup – but he adds with a laugh that this scenario won't characterize his future lifestyle. "My wife has already advised me that I won't get to sit on the couch and eat Doritos." He also has some plans for fishing and spending time with his family. "I will figure out something after that." n ("On the Ramp with Ritchie Bros.' Peter Blake" continued from page 27) Tina Grady BarBaccia is a writer/editor who has been covering the transportation/ construction industry for the past 10 years. She can be reached at tinabarbaccia@gmail.com. Fast Facts From Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers First auction: 1958 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada – CA$2,000 of furniture sold First auction outside North America: 1987 in Liverpool, UK Largest auction in Ritchie Bros. history: $203 million of equipment sold throughout six days at the Orlando auction site in February 2012 Largest Canadian auction: CA$93 million ($79 million) of equipment sold throughout three days at the Edmon- ton, Alberta, auction site in April 2009 Largest auction in Europe: $67 million of equipment sold throughout three days at Moerdijk, Netherlands auction site in November 2004 Highest bid ever placed at a Ritchie Bros. auction: 34 million Euros ($46 million) – for a 220-foot mega- yacht, Apoise, at an auction in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands in March 2010 Highest bid placed on a piece of equipment at a Ritchie Bros. auction: $3.7 million for a Liebherr LR 1800, 800-ton crawler crane at the auction in Sacra- mento, Calif., in April 2006 The most bidders at one auction: More than 8,670 people registered to bid onsite or online at an auction at the Orlando auction site in February 2012 The most lots ever sold at a Ritchie Bros. auction: More than 10,000 heavy equipment items and trucks sold throughout six days at the Orlando auction site in February 2012. Most equipment sold to online bidders at one auction: $47 million of equipment sold to online bidders participating in an auction at the Orlando auction site in February 2012 Largest auction site: 200-acre Orlando site First permanent auction site: Edmonton, Alberta – opened in 1976 Source: Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers 24_Peter_Blake_Feature_KP.indd 28 3/27/14 4:27 PM

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