JR Rix & Sons: 'Inspirational' managing director hailed as he moves to non-executive director post

An “inspirational” managing director credited with taking a Hull family business to national prominence has been hailed as he steps down from the role.

Rory Clarke has been group managing director for JR Rix and Sons, whose multiple business arms include fuel supplier Rix Petroleum and holiday home company Victory Leisure Homes, since 2017 but stepped down from the post at the start of this month.

Mr Clarke is remaining in the business as a non-executive director and James Doyle is taking over the managing director role, having previously been chief executive of Victory Leisure Homes.

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Tim Rix CBE, chairman and chief executive of JR Rix & Sons, has paid tribute to Mr Clarke after he presided over the biggest period of expansion and diversification in the company’s 150-year history.

James Doyle (L) and Rory Clarke (R)James Doyle (L) and Rory Clarke (R)
James Doyle (L) and Rory Clarke (R)

He said: “Rory’s story at Rix is a truly inspirational one.

"He arrived to establish a proper credit control department in 1991 – a gigantic job which was not for the faint-hearted.

“He took on the challenge and thrived which led to his involvement in just about every aspect of the Rix organisation, making sure we got paid.”

In 2003, Mr Clarke was appointed as Managing Director of Rix Petroleum which he grew from a local supplier into a national business with depots from Grangemouth to the Thames, and from Norfolk across to Cheshire.

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Mr Clarke has been described as being “instrumental” as managing director in transforming the group from a traditional family business into a diverse company involved in fuel deliveries, shipping, renewable energy, manufacturing holiday homes, and with a significant property portfolio.

Mr Rix added that the Rix business is all about the people who work in it.

“Rory’s story shows how it is possible to rise through the ranks and excel at the highest level,” he said.

His replacement as MD Mr Doyle initially joined the business as Managing Director of Rix Shipping in 2007.

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In 2019, he became Chief Executive of Victory Leisure Homes and has worked closely with the Board in managing and developing all aspects of the wider group.

He said: “It is a source of huge personal pride to be taking over the role of Managing Director at JR Rix & Sons.

"I have worked alongside Rory for many years and I have to say, his are going to be very big shoes to fill.

“I’m taking over the Managing Director’s role at a highly prosperous point in the company’s history, and much of that is due to Rory’s tremendous contribution over the past 32 years.”

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Mr Clarke said he was sad to be stepping down as Managing Director, but was confident the business remained in very safe hands.

He said: “James has been actively involved in the management of the business at group level for a number of years, and is the perfect choice to succeed me. I’m looking forward to supporting him and the wider Board in my new role of non-executive director.”

The change in management follows the group recently recording its highest turnover in its history. Recent-published results for 2022 showed turned reach £756.1m

Mr Clarke said that Rix Petroleum’s performance – which saw sales reach £535.1m – resulted principally from the recovery of crude oil prices which underpin the retail cost of petroleum products. Crude oil saw an 88 per cent increase in price during 2022 as the global supply chain realigned in response to the sanctions on Russia.