Sunbelt Rentals this week named Brendan Horgan CEO effective immediately, replacing Joe Phelan, company officials told RER. Horgan joined Sunbelt in 1996 and has served in a number of management positions including chief sales officer and, most recently, chief operating officer. Horgan also joins the board of Ashtead Group plc, Sunbelt Rentals’ parent company, as an executive director.
“We brought Joe in a couple of years ago,” Geoff Drabble, chief executive of Ashtead plc, Sunbelt’s parent company told RER. “Given the economic difficulties we had at that time, we needed a more experienced set of hands to steer us through those difficult times. As you can see from our performance the past couple of years, we’ve achieved that. We’ve seen good improvement the past two quarters and we are entering an exciting time for the industry generally and perhaps a slightly difference skill set is needed. Joe did a good job for us and we came to an agreement about what he wanted to do with his career and what we wanted to do in the industry. Having that sure pair of hands, a seasoned executive in a number of industries, was clearly beneficial to us. We came to an agreement that worked well for everybody.”
Drabble added, in a statement, that Horgan “has a wealth of experience of the U.S. rental industry in general and of the Sunbelt operation in particular. He has been instrumental in developing the Sunbelt business over a number of years and in his new role I am confident that he will help us take further advantage of the opportunities which exist at this exciting time for the rental industry in North America.”
Horgan told RER he doesn’t plan on sweeping changes, rather more of a continuation of the company’s direction, continuing with the same management team the company has been developing for some time.
“We are genuinely excited about some of the dynamics unfolding in our industry today in terms of the ever-increasing shift from ownership to rental,” Horgan said. “The team that has helped us navigate the waters over the last two years is still fully intact; we have a leadership team that has been in place for quite some time that we worked closely with. It’s been a team effort; it’s not a one-man show.”
Horgan will continue to be based at Sunbelt’s Fort Mill, S.C., headquarters. Sunbelt Rentals is No. 3 on the RER 100.