Coates Hire appoints Leigh Ainsworth as CEO

By Murray Pollok14 October 2008

Leigh Ainsworth, incoming CEO of Coates Hire in Australia

Leigh Ainsworth, incoming CEO of Coates Hire in Australia

Coates Hire's new chief executive officer is Leigh Ainsworth, who will replace interim CEO Ray Romano in early November. Mr Romano took over the position following Malcolm Jackman's departure in May.

Mr Ainsworth, who is new to the equipment rental business, comes to Coates from Theiss Services, a subsidiary of Leighton Holdings. Theiss is one of Australia's largest environmental and utilities contracting organisations, with activities encompassing utilities and telecoms maintenance and construction; contaminated site remediation; landfill ownership; and waste and wastewater treatment.

Theiss's revenues have grown from A$300 million in 2003, when Mr Ainsworth became chief executive, to $900 million now, through organic growth and acquisitions.

Coates' chairman, Peter Gammell, said he was very pleased that Mr Ainsworth was joining Coates; "He brings more than 20 years' experience in services and utilities contracting to our business and has a wealth of expertise in the management of service contracts."

Coates Hire is no w owned primarily by National Hire Group and private equity firm Carlyle. National Hire has not said what new role Mr Romano will have when Mr Ainsworth takes over. Stephen Donnelley, an ex-managing director of National Hire, now has an executive role at Coates overseeing the integration of Coates Hire and National Hire's rental operations.

Meanwhile, former Coates CEO Malcolm Jackman has been appointed CEO and managing director of Futuris Corp based in Adelaide, South Australia. Futuris is a A$3 billion agribusiness with activities including financial services, hardwood plantation management and automotive component manufacturing.

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