SEVEN Group Holdings (SGH) chief executive Don Voelte will retire form the company on 31 August, handing over the reins to the company’s current chief operating officer, Ryan Stokes.

Mr Stokes, who has been an executive director of the company since it was founded, was responsible for establishing a business case of the company board to approve starting an oil and gas division within the group.

He also developed extensive relationships and experiences in China, where he led the restructuring of WesTrac’s China operations in his role as a director of that company.

He was also a Director of Seven Network from 2005 and executive director and then Chairman of Pacific Magazines from 2004 until 2008.

Mr Stokes has been chairman of the National Library of Australia since July 2012, is a member of the Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Veterans’ Mental Health.

He also became a committee member of innovationXchange, which provides strategic guidance on innovation in aid programs to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in 2015.

Caterpillar chairman Doug Oberhelman said he was looking forward to continuing to work with Mr Stokes into the future.

“I have known Ryan for many years and I am confident that his deep knowledge of the Caterpillar business will serve our customers well,” he said.

Mr Stokes said Seven Group Holdings’ core strategy was intact, but added that he would focus on identifying new growth opportunities.

“SGH is in very good shape in what are challenging times and our focus will remain on effectively deploying our available capital to enhance shareholder returns,” he said.