After fulfilling 19 successful years at Air Products South Africa (Pty) Limited, managing director Allan Cooper has announced his retirement from the role and his pride at the achievements made during this time.

Although retiring as managing director (MD), Cooper will continue for a further year in a consulting capacity and hopes to have the opportunity to see some current projects through.

Deputy managing director and long-serving Air Products team member Mike Hellyar has been appointed to succeed Cooper as MD, with effect from 1st October 2007.

Looking back on his time and achievements with the company, Cooper commented, “I tried to look at potential projects and opportunities with a holistic approach, though never forgetting the reputation of Air Products South Africa as a groundbreaking leader in its field. Reflecting on past events, I would have to include the market leadership position we developed in the air separation units installed at key customer sites. A number of these projects were the largest ever undertaken by a gas company in South Africa.”

“An aspect which I am especially proud of is the impressive growth in our cylinder business. Over the last 5 years it has far exceeded South Africa’s GDP growth rate, and continues to do so,” added Cooper.

Succeeding to the role of MD, Hellyar has held a number of key positions within the company for many years and is perfectly placed to take the next step.

Cooper notes, “The succession plan has been in progress for a number of years. Mike’s extensive knowledge and experience at Air Products make him the ideal candidate for the position. Under Mike’s leadership I am confident that Air Products South Africa will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Hellyar himself comments, “My time at Air Products has been very rewarding. I look forward to leading the Air Products team as we journey into the future aiming for ever increasing levels of improvement.”