Ben McGuire has shock the truck industry with his resignation as CEO of the ATA, announcing he will leave the industry body in September to take up a commission as an officer with the Royal Australian Navy, after two and a half years heading up the organisation.

The ATA  says  it will  commence a national search process for its next CEO shortly.

Chair of the industry body, David Smith praised McGuire saying he had been a  superlative leader of the ATA team.

“During his time at the ATA, Ben assembled and coached a high performing team of staff,” Mr Smith said.

“Under his leadership, the ATA transformed its events and added two leadership initiatives: the Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders’ Forum and the Teletrac Navman Driving Change Diversity Program. These initiatives enable ATA member associations to nominate their rising stars, including from diverse backgrounds, to receive career-defining training and mentoring.

“Ben also led the upgrade of the ATA’s road safety education vehicle, the Safety Truck, to our new exhibition and digital campaign, SafeT360. Our new campaign has now reached more than 1.3 million people online. Its appeal and relevance to its 16-25 year old target public is clear.

“Ben has excelled as an advocate for the industry, most notably throughout the COVID pandemic. His mantra of standing up for our drivers led to the Keep them open campaign and the ATA’s work with national transport newspaper Big Rigs to encourage everyone in the industry to have their say in the truck law review.

“Ben has now been offered a commission to serve as a naval officer, where he will apply his leadership, business and mentoring skills.

“We are disappointed that Ben is leaving, but he leaves the ATA with our thanks, congratulations and best wishes,” he said.

Mr Maguire said: “My time at the ATA, representing this proud industry, has been a career highlight for me.

“I will be forever grateful for the friendships, opportunities and achievements over the last three and a half years. All of this would not have been possible without the incredible team of people I work with, and the united and clear leadership of the board,” he said.