Rob Oliver to step down as CEA’s chief exec

By Leila Steed01 September 2021

Suneeta Johal named as new CEO of UK-based Construction Equipment Association

Rob Oliver, CEO of the UK's Construction Equipment Association Longstanding CEO Rob Oliver to step down after 20 years as head of the CEA

Rob Oliver has announced he is stepping down from his role as chief executive officer at the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) after 20 years of service.

He also named his successor as Suneeta Johal.

Oliver, said, “The original plan was that I should step down a year or so ago, but covid-19 struck and I agreed to stay a little longer.

“Now the time seems right to step aside and let Suneeta bring a fresh, and younger, approach to what is undoubtedly a great job to have.”

Described as having a strong background in association leadership and research, Johal is the former director of commercial development for the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE). 

Due to take up her new role with the CEA on 4 October, 2021, she will be responsible for “strengthening and developing” the CEA for the future.

Johal said, “I am delighted to be joining the CEA as the new Chief Executive. It has been a tough 18 months for many trade associations and as we move forward, I hope that my skills and experience can bring a fresh approach to develop the future strategy of the CEA.”

“I am looking forward to building on the successes that Rob has achieved to take the CEA from strength to strength.”

Suneeta Johal, the new CEO of the CEA Suneeta Johal, the incoming CEO of the UK’s Construction Equipment Association

In her previous role at IPSE, Johal was responsible for the organisation’s commercial strategy. This saw her steer the development and introduction of new initiatives designed to drive membership growth and ensure value for money for existing members. 

A member of IPSE’s senior leadership team, she also acted as the Head of Research, Education, and Training.

Paul Ross, Chair of the CEA’s Executive Board, said of Johal, “I feel that her experience and capabilities will be key assets in strengthening and developing the CEA for the future. It is important that the association continues to truly reflect the wishes of all its members and one of her key actions will be to reflect this as part of the ongoing strategy.” 

He added, “Whilst announcing that Suneeta is our new chief executive, I must acknowledge all the efforts and dedication of Rob Oliver, our long-serving chief executive, who has led the CEA over the last two decades and has passionately supported and championed the industry and the needs of all our members. A huge thank you to Rob on behalf of all our members!”

Established in the late 1990s, the CEA now has around 150 members and is recognised by the UK Government as the official representative body for the construction equipment sector.

Oliver, who was key to introducing an emissions compliance verification option to the CESAR scheme, said, “I am pleased that on my watch we were able to grow our membership and international activities and create the Plantworx construction exhibition.”

During Oliver’s time with the trade association, the CEA’s technical, regulatory and international trade work has lead it to become an active member of the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) with global influence.

Sam Mottram of Caterpillar UK and Chair of the CEA’s Management Council, said, “Rob has led the association with vigour and diligence for 20 years.

“While we’ll all be sad to see Rob depart we are grateful that he has brought that same diligence in the search for his replacement.”

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