Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman to retire

Caterpillar chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman

Caterpillar chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman will retire from March next year after working for more than 41 years in the company.

Oberhelman led caterpillar to its highest sales and revenue peak in its 91 year history in 2012, the company said. He joined the company in the treasury department in 1975, holding senior positions including CFO, before becoming chairman of the board and CEO in 2010.

During his tenure the company has increased its quarterly dividend by 83 per cent since 2010; the implementation of their new lean management processes has simplified and increased production capabilities; and their global safety metrics for employees has improved.

“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,” Oberhelman said.

“Faced with these challenges, our employees have responded like champions. We have improved our market position and grown our field population.

“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 unrivaled global distribution channel.

“The future is bright.”

Jim Umpleby, currently a caterpillar group president with responsibility for Energy and Transportation, will replace Oberhelman. He will join the board of directors and become CEO from January 1 next year.

Umpleby has worked for the company for 35 years, joining Solar Turbines, a subsidiary of Caterpillar, in 1980. Since then he has held several positions in manufacturing, engineering, sales and marketing and customer service; becoming president of Solar Turbines in 2010.

“I look forward to leading our dedicated team as we build upon the accomplishments of those that have come before us,” Umpleby said.

Oberhalmen will remain executive chairman until his retirement on March 17.

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