People news: from the world's rental industry

18 March 2008

Bradley Jacobs, founder and chairman of United Rentals, retired from the company on 31 August. He served as chairman since he co-founded United Rentals in 1997.

Mr Jacob's departure comes just weeks after the company announced it is to be acquired by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management for approximately US$6,6 billion. The sale comes after a review by United of its strategic alternatives announced in April this year.

At the time of the sale announcement, Mr Jacobs said he was pleased with the favourable outcome; “This transaction is a credit to the thousands of United Rentals employees who have created unmatched value in our industry. A decade ago we started United Rentals with little more than a concept and achieved industry leadership in just 13 months. Today we remain the preeminent equipment rental company in the world.”

Michael J. Kneeland, chief executive officer of United Rentals, said, “I want to express our company's warmest thanks and appreciation to Brad for his leadership over the last decade. I have no doubt that he will enjoy continued success in his future endeavors.”

In his decade at United Rentals, Mr Jacobs was at the forefront of the consolidation of the North American rental sector, overseeing literally hundreds of acquisitions. From nothing, he created a company which now has a fleet valued at $4,4 billion, 12000 employees and 690 rental locations in the US, Canada and Mexico.

Andrew Way, former managing director of GE Equipment Services Plant Hire and TLS Vehicle Rental businesses in UK, has been appointed general manager of GE's Oil & Gas Services business, based in Florence, Italy, effective 1 October.

Carl D'Ammassa, above, currently chief operating officer of Plant Hire/TLS, succeeds Mr Way as managing director. Mr D'Ammassa has been with GE for 10 years and joined TLS in 2003 with responsibility for asset management.

Mr Way had worked at TLS for six years, taking on the Plant Hire business in January this year when it was combined with TLS.

UK rental company Hewden has appointedStephen Cormackto the position of head of strategic accounts. Mr Cormack, who comes to Hewden from US brewing company Coors Brothers, where he was a London-based regional sales director, will be responsible for developing business and negotiating with major customers on multi-million pound rental contracts.

Mr Cormack said he welcomed the challenge of his new post; “Looking at different ways to find solutions to age-old problems is always going to be tough, but working with Hewden means that we can engineer ideal solutions into an established sector.”

David Baxter of JLG Industries has been appointed director of marketing for aftermarket services, which includes the ServicePlus business in North America. Mr Baxter was previously director of marketing and market development at JLG. His new role follows the appointment earlier this year ofMs Kirsten Skyba of Oshkosh Truck Corp as vice president of global marketing for JLG Industries. Meanwhile in Europe, marketing directorMalcolm Early has left JLG and is understood to be joining a major construction equipment manufacturer in a senior marketing role.

Used equipment and access rental specialist A J Access Platforms in the UK appointedJonathan Hull, previously Genie Industries UK sales manager, as its sales director on 3 September. Mr Hull had worked with Genie for 10 years.

RSC Holdings Inc, parent company of RSC Equipment Rentals in the USA, has appointedDonald Roof to its board of directors as an independent director and member of its audit committee. Mr Roof recently retired from Joy Global, the US manufacturer of mining equipment, where he was executive vice president and chief financial officer.

RSC has also electedJames Ozanne as an independent director and chairperson of its audit committee. Mr Ozanne comes to RSC from General Electric Capital Corporation. Both men have additionally been elected to the board of directors of RSC Equipment Rental.

Martin Lucas has joined chipper and shredder manufacturer GreenMech of Alcester, Warwickshire, UK as sales director. He previously was business development manager with Ingersoll Rand and responsible for sales in the UK and Ireland for its Compact Vehicle Technologies business unit, which includes both Club Car and Bobcat.

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