Loftus to step down as Angling Trade Association CEO
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John Loftus is to step down from his role as CEO of the Angling Trades Association (ATA) in the UK. The former Daiwa and Shimano CEO took the decision so he can concentrate on looking after his wife, who is in remission from cancer, but suffered a fall in September resulting in hospitalisation.
“It is with much regret that I have to stand down,” he said in a message to ATA Board members. “But developments with my wife need my attention on a daily basis.
“I apologise if you feel I am letting you down, but I hope you will understand that the care of my wife has to take priority. I am prepared to stay in position until the end of March 2020, but understand if you wish to make a change sooner.
“I will do everything I can to facilitate a change and will help and support the ATA as much as I can.”
Loftus took over as CEO in March this year and quickly rejuvenated an organisation lacking in funds and credibility. He wasted no time in highlighting the issues facing the trade, saying: “Many brands are inward looking and seem to be in denial about the market getting ever smaller.
“Brands are fighting each other for a bigger share of a shrinking market. My job is to change that mindset. The ATA has lacked support because too many people in the industry are insular.”
ATA Board member and Angling International’s Consultant Editor, Mel Bagnall, said: “John has galvanised the ATA in his nine months at the helm. His vast experience and knowledge earned peoples’ respect. He turned the ATA from a discussion forum into a business.
“He has brought in new members, including some of the industry’s biggest players, and attracted some 70 trade representatives to a think-tank designed to drive participation, the biggest ever gathering of the UK trade under one roof.”
Loftus joined Millard Bros in 1960. He was Managing Director at Daiwa from 1976 to 1981. He joined Shimano in 1986 as CEO UK and then as CEO Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) from 1991 to 1998. He was a consultant with the Rapala Group from 2005 to 2009 before becoming Chairman and CEO of Maryuku Europe from 2009 to 2016.