JCB’s John Patterson CBE, who rose through the ranks from field service engineer to group chief executive, has retired after 43 years of service. Arjun Mirdha has been named president and CEO of JCB in North America, where Patterson has led operations since 2008 as chairman and CEO.

Patterson joined JCB in 1971 and went to work in Canada and the United States before returning to the U.K. in 1988 as managing director of JCB Service. In 1993 Patterson was named managing director of JCB Sales before becoming group CEO — only the third person in JCB’s history to hold that position.

Patterson went on to become JCB’s second longest service CEO and in his 10 years in the role, sales broke the £1 billion (about U.S. $1.56 billion) mark for the first time, and eventually topped £2 billion ((about U.S. $3.13 billion) when he left that position. Patterson then became chairman and CEO of JCB Inc. based in North America.

“During John’s time as chief executive, JCB achieved unprecedented sales growth and led the company’s transformation into a truly global company,” said JCB chairman Lord Anthony Bamford. “I thank John for his contribution over the past 43 years and am delighted he will remain a director of the JCB Group and chairman of the board of the JCB USA companies.”

Under Patterson’s leadership as group CEO, JCB opened facilities in Savannah, Ga.; São Paulo, Brazil; Pune, India; and Shanghai. In 2010 he oversaw a $40 million investment in a new range of skid-steer and compact track loaders that went into production at JCB’s North American headquarters in Savannah.

“I am proof that there are no boundaries to career development at JCB and I have had an incredible time over the past 43 years,” said Patterson. “I am proud to have been part of a team which has seen JCB become the world’s third largest construction equipment manufacturer and achieve market leadership for many of its products. JCB has made excellent progress in North America in recent years but there are many more opportunities to be seized and I wish Arjun Mirdha well as he leads the team as president and CEO of JCB in North America.”

Mirdha began his new role on Jan. 1, reporting directly to Graeme Macdonald, JCB group chief executive.

For more background on Patterson and his philosophy, please read this interview conducted with him at the ConExpo convention in 2008.