01/08/2013 05:10 EST | Updated 03/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Finning International says CEO Mike Waites plans to retire this year

VANCOUVER - Heavy equipment dealer Finning International Inc. (TSX:FTT) said Tuesday that chief executive Mike Waites has decided to retire this year and will not seek re-election as a director at the company's annual meeting.

Waites will continue to serve as president and CEO until a replacement is appointed, the company said.

The 59-year-old executive took over the top job at the world's largest Caterpillar equipment dealer in May 2008 after serving in the post of chief financial officer since May 2006.

Finning chairman Doug Whitehead said the board has retained an executive search firm to help find a replacement and was considering qualified internal and external candidates.

Finning shares closed down 17 cents at $25.52 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.