Caterpillar CEO to step down next year
Caterpillar, a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, said its chief executive and chairman Doug Oberhelman will be stepping down from his post on March 31 after putting more than 41 years of service in the company.
He will be replaced as CEO by Jim Umpleby, currently a Caterpillar Group President with responsibility for energy and transportation.
Umpleby, a 35-year veteran of the company, will join the Caterpillar board of directors and become CEO effective January 1, 2017.
The company’s board lauded Oberhelman for his services in successfully steering the company through the unprecedented downturn affecting its key industries. He led the company to its highest sales and revenue peak in its 91-year history in 2012.
During his tenure as chairman and CEO, Oberhelman had reinvigorated the company’s focus on serving customers while also driving a culture of quality and safety, it stated.
Welcoming the appointment, Oberhelman said: “Our people have heard me say many times that my greatest responsibility as chairman and CEO is to manage Caterpillar for today and position the company and its future leaders for long-term success. It has been an honour and a privilege to lead this company, and I am confident in the choice of my successor, Jim Umpleby.”
“During the last four years, Caterpillar has faced unprecedented global economic conditions that have significantly impacted the industries served by our customers, as those industries and economic growth in many regions around the world have slowed or severely contracted,” remarked Oberhelman.
“Faced with these challenges, our employees have responded like champions. We have improved our market position and grown our field population. Our product quality is at historically high levels, and I believe we are leading the industry in digital capabilities,” stated the veteran.
“I am confident that Caterpillar is stronger than ever, with product quality, power, technology and innovation that is the envy of our competitors. Add to that lean and agile manufacturing capabilities and an unrivalled global distribution channel. The future is bright,” he added.
Umpleby started his career with Solar Turbines Incorporated in San Diego, California, in 1980. Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial gas turbine systems.
Early in his career, he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility in engineering, manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer services.
Umpleby lived in Asia from 1984 to 1990, with assignments in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Caterpillar board had elected Umpleby as VP and president of Solar Turbines in 2010. He was named group president and a member of Caterpillar’s executive office, effective January 2013.
On his new role, Umpleby said: “For more than 91 years, Caterpillar equipment has been renowned for its quality, durability, innovation and value. I have been privileged to work with Caterpillar employees and dealers in supporting our customers as they develop the world’s infrastructure and improve standards of living and quality of life.”
“I look forward to leading our dedicated team as we build upon the accomplishments of those that have come before us,” he added.
Upon Oberhelman’s retirement, Dave Calhoun, a current member of the Caterpillar Board, will assume the role of non-executive chairman of the board. Calhoun is a senior managing director and head of private equity portfolio operations of The Blackstone Group.-TradeArabia News Service