LOVAT changes leadership Jul09 - TunnelTalk
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New leadership at LOVAT Jul 2009
Shani Wallis, Editor
Pic 1

Dick Cooper: As President I look forward to LOVAT's ongoing and future successes.

Pic 2

Rick Lovat: I'm going to take a deep breath and spend time reconnecting with my family and friends.

Pic 3

Richard Lovat: I'm being asked to spend time on the beach. I don't like the beach.

Hard to believe, but LOVAT is going forward without a family member at the helm. At the end of June, Rick Lovat is officially resigned as President and CEO; Richard, the founder of the company in 1974, is definitely retired; and Dick Cooper takes over as President for new owner Caterpillar.
Word-of-mouth news of the move ran like wildfire around the halls of RETC in Las Vegas two weeks ago and with it ran rumour of why the move had occurred. This was not an easy situation to manage and digging deeper, many of the more scurrilous rumours were dispelled and the playing out of a transition strategy that started more than a year ago became apparent.
Allowing Rick to leave as arranged at the end of the first year of ownership, is a wrench, but passing the baton to Dick Cooper, who was also at RETC in an unofficial capacity, is another strategic move. As Rick explained, his going is an important part of the transition process, in allowing senior managers of the company to come through and work with Cooper and Caterpillar, without divided loyalty, to ensure that it develops the full potential as anticipated by an owner of the power and influence of Caterpillar. Although coming from a mining background, Dick exhibited a natural fit with the tunnellers. There was the usual 'on probation' stance from the pundits, but also fair play willingness to 'give him a go'.
Cooper joins LOVAT after being 21 years with Caterpillar. As well as taking on the role of President of LOVAT, he will continue in his role as General Manager of Caterpillar Global Mining Operations for the Melbourne and Burnie facilities. In a statement released from LOVAT, Cooper said "I am excited to join LOVAT. The company's TBM technology is market-proven and its potential for further growth and expansion, in both existing and new markets, is substantial."
At RETC it seemed that the LOVAT staff and international representatives were as shocked by the news as anyone but as the company statement said, LOVAT is "pleased and excited to have a dynamic new president with proven leadership, diverse interests, and a strong background in the manufacturing process".
News of the sale of LOVAT last year in April was the first report published by TunnelTalk. We join the company in supporting Dick as the new President, and extending best regards to Richard and Rick. Richard celebrated a significant birthday last year in September and Rick has confirmed that he will remain committed to the success of the company (answering calls for assistance when they come), and to the industry by continuing his position as Canada's representative on the RETC International Committee and to the organizing committee of the ITA 2010 General Assembly and WTC congress and exhibition to be hosted by Vancouver in May next year.
It is the start of a new era for LOVAT, which will continue its transition under the leadership of Dick Cooper and ownership of Caterpillar. Meanwhile Rick will remain involved in the industry and Richard can take great satisfaction knowing that he created a company from scratch and raised it, with his son, to a point where a company the size of Caterpillar found it deserving and worthy of ownership and strategic investment.
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References:
LOVAT bought by Caterpillar - TunnelTalk, Apr 2008
Lovat speaks of acquisition - TunnelTalk, Apr 2008
Richard Lovat celebrates a milestone - TunnelTalk, Sept 2008

Gallery

Tunneling in the blood

I can't imagine the world with out Rick running around here there and everywhere selling TBMs. I've met him in London, Frankfurt, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Singapore and many points in between. He has spent the better part of 30 years working with Lovat supplying TBMs for tunnelling and I would like to congratulate him for his work and hope his future endeavors will be equally rewarding.

Regards,

Peter C. Raleigh, CEng, P.Eng
Senior Engineer, Jacobs Associates, San Francisco

     

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