Astec Industries names new CEO

Jaco van der Merwe took over as president and CEO, effective Jan. 6, replacing Barry Ruffalo.

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Astec Industries Inc., Chattanooga, Tennessee, has announced that Barry Ruffalo stepped down as president and CEO and as a member of the board of directors, effective Jan. 6.

The board has appointed Jaco van der Merwe to serve as president and CEO and as a member of the Astec Industries board of directors. He joined Astec in 2016 and had served as group president of Astec’s Infrastructure Solutions, a role he assumed in 2019, until he took over as president and CEO.

“We are fortunate to have someone with Jaco’s experience and skill to assume the role of CEO,” says William D. Gehl, chairman of the board. “He is a proven leader and has a thorough understanding of our business. Prior to joining Astec in 2016, Jaco held various leadership positions with P&L responsibilities within the construction equipment industry. His knowledge of our materials solutions and infrastructure solutions markets and products makes Jaco uniquely suited to lead Astec to the next level of our ‘Simplify, Focus and Grow’ journey. We would also like to thank Barry Ruffalo for his efforts at Astec and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

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Joining Astec following an 18-year stint at Sweden-based Atlas Copco where he served as president of Atlas Copco Mining and Rock Excavation in Johannesburg, South Africa, van der Merwe is a naturalized U.S. citizen who completed his metallurgical engineering studies at Tshwane University of Technology and his MBA at the University of Pretoria, both in South Africa.

“It is an honor to be the CEO of Astec, and I look forward to our journey together. The hardworking people of Astec are the key to our success,” van der Merwe says. “Our company has a 50-year history of designing, engineering, manufacturing and servicing the most innovative, efficient and dependable equipment solutions within the rock-to-road segment of the construction industry. By working together with a dedicated focus on execution, we will create value for our shareholders, customers and employees.”


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