After 20 years as CEO of Helm Operations, our fearless leader, Ron deBruyne, has decided to retire as of December 12th, 2019.
Ron has been a mainstay in the workboat industry for many years, and he had this to say about his retirement: “the best part is that I’m lucky enough to be hanging up my skates at the top of my game. Helm has gone from a scrappy little start-up in my basement, to one of the largest and fastest growing software companies in the maritime industry (52% market share), with most of the largest fleet owners in the world depending on it to run their operations everyday. I couldn’t have imagined that we’d get this far when this all started, and I count myself very lucky to have gotten here.”
Although we’ll miss Ron very much, we all know that the company will still be in good hands. That’s because Nolan Barclay, Helm’s COO, will now be moving into the CEO position. Nolan has a long history with Helm Operations, and was actually the first employee Ron hired. Ron and Nolan quickly became business partners and have worked together side by side for the past 20 years to shape Helm Operations into the company it is today. With Nolan’s energy, experience and enthusiasm, it’s clear that there couldn’t have been a better choice.
It’s also clear to all of us at Helm that our core values will remain the same, especially our dedication to customer success. We’ve always thought of our customers as a “family” rather than an “industry”, and that won’t be changing any time soon. It’s a concept that was important to Ron, and one that we’re proud to carry on with.
Ron had one more thing to say: “to me, ‘retirement’ just means that you get to do something different, something that you choose to do. So don’t write me off yet – I will be back in some new capacity. I just don’t know what that ‘something different’ is yet, and I’m excited to see what the future brings.”
We wish him all the best and thank him for everything he’s done for us. Happy Sails, Ron!