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Business & Economy

Chief executive steps up as container firm founder steps down

A Teesside-based container firm has appointed a new boss, with its founder stepping down after more than a decade at the helm.

Cleveland Containers was set up by husband and wife Johnathan and Jane Bulmer in 2011, and has grown into the UK’s largest shipping container sales company from its Stockton base.

Following Johnathan’s decision to step down from the day-to-day running of the business, it has been announced chief operating officer Andrew Thompson will take over as chief executive.

The news follows last year’s announcement of the launch of the Cleveland Group, which encompasses the existing container arm along with two new divisions, Cleveland Hire and Cleveland Modular.

Johnathan said: “After launching the Cleveland Group last year, it has always been our wish to strengthen the management team to enable the business to grow and flourish without the direct day to day involvement of myself and Jane.

“We appointed Andrew as chief operating officer in May 2022 knowing we had the right candidate, meaning the cultural fit was right for him and the senior team to take the business forward.”

Andrew, who was previously managing director and senior vice president of Mobile Mini UK, has more than 20 years management and leadership experience, in both the public and private sector.

He said: “While we’ll all miss Johnathan’s day-to-day involvement, I’m extremely excited about what the future holds.

“It is a privilege to lead Cleveland and I’m particularly looking forward to unlocking the potential of all the talented people that we have in the business, coupled with the incredible ambition that we have, which is reflected in the scale of the investment that we are making.”

While stepping back from day-to-day duties, Johnathan will continue as founder and non-executive director, focusing on key projects and utilising his years of industry experience.

He added: “I have so many amazing memories of our achievements with Cleveland, including winning Company of the Year at the Teesside heat of the North East Business Awards, and winning two awards at the National SME Awards at Wembley: gold for High Growth Business of the Year and silver for Family Business of the Year, all in 2022.

“It’s also been wonderful to see how the business and the amazing team at Cleveland has grown and developed with us, and I’m sure the future will be just as eventful.”