Leighton O’Brien, a leading fuel analytics software and field technologies provider, today announced the appointment of Chris Cooper as Chief Executive Officer.

Cooper is currently the company’s Chief Operating Officer, and takes over from co-founder and CEO Reed Leighton, who will become Executive Chair of the Board. Leighton will also continue directing business development in the US and provide strategic guidance on global market growth opportunities.

Cooper has been with the company for almost three years, firstly as Global President of Field Technologies before being promoted to Chief Operating Officer in late 2020. Under his guidance, the company achieved substantial market and international partner growth, launched a new Energy Services division and enhanced a range of internal systems and processes to achieve operational efficiencies and improved reporting.

No stranger to the industry, prior to Leighton O’Brien Cooper held senior management roles with industry heavyweights including Dover Fueling Solutions, OPW and Gilbarco Veeder-Root across a diverse set of geographic territories.

Outgoing CEO Reed Leighton said Cooper has the ideal leadership capabilities and attributes to drive the company’s next phase of growth.

“This is an exciting new chapter for Leighton O’Brien, and I congratulate Chris on his appointment,” he said. “We’ve worked hand in glove over the last few years, and I have every confidence Chris will lead the company with innovation, foresight and passion.

“The time is right. Chris has been instrumental in operationally structuring the business to grow from a position of strength. We grew almost 40 per cent last year, and Chris will no doubt continue our upward trajectory, executing on our corporate strategy, driving continuous improvement and building on our strong culture.

“Chris is the complete package. He has deep global experience and industry connections, outstanding strategic, commercial and M&A expertise, a sharp performance and business process focus, and a high level of professionalism and integrity.”

Commenting on the appointment, Cooper said: “It is a privilege to take on the role of CEO for a business with such immense talent, a market-leading technology portfolio, valued partners and first-class customers.

“I’m grateful to Reed, Steve and the Board for their faith in me to lead this business which is superbly positioned to accelerate the delivery of our strategic growth ambitions based on our industry-leading IP embedded in our software solutions and technologies.

“Much of the ‘heavy lifting’ has been done. I’m looking forward to executing on our growth strategy and maximizing the significant opportunities ahead, supported by a strong management team.

“Reed and Steve have had an indelible impact on the retail fuel industry; their influence in raising the bar on environmental standards and leak detection practices for the benefit of customers over the last 25 years is unsurpassed,” he said.

Outgoing Chair Neil Thomas said, “Reed is an exceptional entrepreneur and a visionary leader. Over the past 27 years he has worked tirelessly and selflessly to build Leighton O’Brien into a leading solutions provider to the global fueling industry. Reed’s new role will allow him to focus on developing the long-term vision and strategy for the business and to ensure we achieve even greater success.”

Thomas will remain on the Board as Non-Executive Director.