The chief executive of Leeds-based transport software provider Tracsis is to step down in the first half of this year.

John McArthur has opted to focus on his family and other non-business matters and will be replaced by Chris Barnes, current managing director of Ricardo UK’s automotive consulting division.

After stepping down, McArthur will leave the Tracsis board but continue to work with the firm in a part-time advisory capacity with a remit of advising and assisting on mergers and acquisitions.

Barnes, who joins the company on February 4th to begin a handover and transition period, will also join the Tracsis board.

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He has previously fulfilled a number of senior roles within Ricardo including managing director of Ricardo Software, new ventures director and global product group director.

“I would like to pay tribute to John for his exceptional contribution over the past 14 years and what he has achieved for Tracsis and we wish him every success for the future,” said Tracsis non-executive chairman Chris Cole.

“We are delighted to have secured Chris Barnes to succeed John and I welcome him to the group. Chris has great sector experience, and his ambition and credentials will be a real asset to Tracsis as we embark on our next phase of growth.”

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McArthur said: “It has been my pleasure and privilege to serve Tracsis over the past 14 years and I am proud of what our team has achieved in taking a small university spin-out and developing it into the successful technology company we see today.

“After careful consideration about my own future aspirations, now is the right time to transition out of the business and allow a new leader to take up the reins for our next phase of growth.

“As a significant shareholder in a business I helped create, the continued success of Tracsis is of utmost importance to me.

“My transition comes at a time when the group is very well positioned for the future, has a clear strategy, a great management team, and a strong pipeline of organic and acquisitive opportunities.”

Barnes said: “With over 20 years’ experience working across the transportation and software sectors and having completed numerous M&A transactions, I look forward to working with the board and the management team to continue the growth trajectory and deliver on the numerous organic and acquisitive opportunities open to the business in the coming years.”