John Engquist
John Engquist (Photo by Collin Richie)

Longtime H&E Equipment Services CEO John Engquist is stepping down from his position to serve as executive chairman of the company’s board, H&E announced this morning.

Bradley W. Barber, currently the COO, will succeed Engquist as CEO and president of the company, beginning Jan. 1.

“Brad has been instrumental in H&E’s success over the years and we look forward to his leadership and his contributions to the company’s future growth,” Engquist, 64, said in a prepared statement. “As executive chairman of the board, I will lead H&E in its strategic planning and oversee merger and acquisition opportunities on a full-time basis.”

Engquist, whose father, Tom, founded the heavy equipment dealer in 1961, bought the company in 1995, and four years later brought in a private equity firm that acquired a majority stake in the company—a move that left him as the biggest individual shareholder and CEO.

The company merged with competitor ICM Equipment and changed its name to H&E. In 2006, it went public, and in the years since has continued to grow, mainly through the acquisition of small and regional players.

Today, H&E is one of the top 10 heavy equipment companies in the country. Read a Business Report feature on Engquist’s development pursuits and long career.