Shannon-based drill bit maker Mincon has appointed insider Joe Purcell to head the company.
The 49-year-old Purcell will replace long-standing chief executive Kevin Barry who has run the company for more than 25 years.
Mincon, which listed on the stock exchange late last year and shot to world fame when its drill bits were used to rescue dozens of miners in Brazil, reported a 31pc drop in operating profit to €10.4 for 2014. It blamed the fall on problems in the global mining industry.
The appointment will take effect after this month's shareholder meeting but Mr Purcell will begin work as chief executive designate from today.
"He has been instrumental in the growth of the group," said chairman Padraig McManus who is a former chief executive of the ESB. Mr Purcell has demonstrated the "knowledge, experience and enthusiasm required to lead the company through the next phase of its journey," Mr McManus added.
The University College Galway-trained Purcell has spent more than half his lifetime with Mincon, which specialises in the production of rock drills and associated parts. The mechanical engineer spent seven years in Australia designing drill bits there. Two other appointments to Mincon's research and development team will now strengthen the technical department in the wake of his departure, the company said yesterday.
Kevin Barry will remain at the firm in a non-executive capacity.
"On behalf of the board, I would also like to recognise the significant contribution of outgoing chief executive Kevin Barry over the past 31 years," chairman Padraig McManus said. "We wish him every success in the future."