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Second gen appointed CEO at Australia’s Seven Group

Shares in family-controlled Australian business Seven Group Holdings dropped over 5% on the news second-gen Ryan Stokes would be taking over as chief executive and managing director in August.

Existing non-family executive Don Voelte had been part of the holding group for seven years, and chief executive since 2013, but said he wanted to dedicate more time to his family in the US.

Seven Group has interests in the media, mining and construction industries, and last year had revenues of AU$3.1 billion.

Stokes is the third oldest of self-made entrepreneur Kerry Stokes, who is chairman of the business.

The group has faced a challenging couple of years due to a sharp downturn in Australia’s resource sector, and slowing demand in China. Last year’s revenues were down 35% on the previous year. However, Voelte was well regarded as a CEO and his resignation was a surprise.

Shares in the partially listed company dropped 5.6% to AU$6.91 on Monday, following the announcement.

Stokes has been chief operating officer of the family business for the last three years.

Voelte told media he supported the appointment and considered Stoke the “right person” for the job. He will step down on 31 August.

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