Safetywear and workwear specialist Arco has appointed a new chief executive to help the company “accelerate its ambitious plans for growth”.

Guy Bruce has taken over as CEO from former managing director, David Evison, who retired this year. He was previously interim managing director of construction services company Equans, and managing director of building materials distributor SIG.

Announcing the appointment, Arco stated: “He brings with him a wealth of experience from the industry, with significant achievements in delivering transformative growth across distribution, retail, service and manufacturing businesses, both domestically and internationally, within private and public companies.”

Guy will guide Arco’s strategic plan, Destination 2025, which sets out how it will grow over the next three years and adopt new and innovative ideas to futureproof the business.

He will develop this strategy further by making the most of the significant investments undertaken by Arco over recent years and by accelerating digital transformation, enhancing customer experience and driving sustainability.

Described as “an advocate of collaborative working”, Guy plans to increase engagement between the business and colleagues, strengthen supplier partnerships and work closely with customers.

Thomas Martin, chairman at Hull-based Arco, said: “I am thrilled to have Guy in post at Arco to help take our family-owned business forwards. Guy is a proven leader, and his experience in delivering transformational growth throughout his career will be very beneficial to Arco as we continue delivering remarkable and effortless experiences for our customers, and ultimately keeping people safe at work.”

Guy added: “I’m delighted to be joining Arco at this exciting phase in the company’s history. The chance to lead the transition from family-run to family-owned is unique and the prospect of accelerating our plans for growth are exciting.

“As we re-focus our efforts following the Covid-19 pandemic, Arco, like other businesses, will need to face into the challenges of the current economic climate. However, our foundations are strong, built on multigenerational values and heritage, and will support us in continuing to evolve the business and build for the future.”

In July, Richard Martin, part of the fourth generation of the Martin family who have run the business since 1907, stepped down as Arco’s customer experience director but remains a non-executive director on the statutory board.