It has just been announced that Rob Oliver will be stepping down as the CEO of the CEA.

Stepping into the role, Suneeta Johal will have some big shoes to fill, Rob (below) having been the CEA's first Chief Executive and then holding the position for 20 years. She will begin her new job on October 4.

The CEA Board conducted a thorough search for Rob's replacement, of course, attracting more than 50 applications from trade association professionals. Ms. Johal joins the CEA from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), where she held the position of Director of Commercial Development.

Chair of the CEA’s Executive Board, Paul Ross welcomed the appointment, saying: “The recent year has been challenging for the entire industry but as we head out of the pandemic and look towards the future I feel very excited about the numerous opportunities and changes that are taking place.

“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!”

While Suneeta Johal added: “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.”

The last word goes to Rob Oliver, who 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. I am pleased that on my watch we were able to grow our membership and international activities and create the Plantworx construction exhibition. More recently, my idea of introducing an emissions compliance verification option to the CESAR scheme is proving to be a winner.”