The appointment of a new president of Coventry Chamber has brought together two differing sides of manufacturing.
Paul Sullivan, who will hold the post for 12 months, built up a group of companies specialising in automotive engineering, before selling up last year.
He is now the managing director of 4 Club & Country, a start-up sportswear company.
Mr Sullivan, aged 48 takes over the post from Ken Armstrong, managing director of BRK Precision Engineering.
Mr Sullivan said: "Both Ken and I grew up in the tradition of skilled manufacturing in the city and realise the importance of it but also understand how times have changed. Thirty years ago around 55 per cent of people employed in Coventry worked in manufacturing but that figure is now 16 per cent.
"Coventry still has a highly successful economy but the emphasis has changed.
"I know that more than most. I have gone from working in the hotbed of automotive engineering to now developing a company where a great number of our products are manufactured overseas.
"It has certainly taught me the importance of factors such international trade and marketing and hopefully will give me an insight into many of the companies I will deal with in the coming year."