Doug Oberhelman has announced his retirement as chairman and CEO of Caterpillar. Jim Umpleby will succeed him as CEO, effective January 1, 2017. Umpleby is currently group president responsible for energy & transportation. He has been with Caterpillar for 35 years.
Dave Calhoun, a current member of the Caterpillar Board, will assume the role of nonexecutive chairman of the board upon Oberhelman’s retirement on March 31, 2017. Calhoun is senior managing director and head of private equity portfolio operations of The Blackstone Group L.P.
Oberhelman has been with the company for 41 years and led Caterpiller to its highest sales and revenue peak in 2012. The company noted several of Oberhelman’s accomplishments as chairman/CEO:
- Product quality levels have reached historically high levels.
- Market position for machines has significantly increased.
- New Lean Management processes have simplified and sped production capabilities, improving product availability for dealers and customers.
- The company has increased its quarterly dividend by 83 percent since 2010.
- The balance sheet is strong, and at the end of the second quarter of 2016, Caterpillar’s Machinery Energy & Transportation debt-to-capital ratio was 39.0 percent, with $6.764 billion in cash as of June 30, 2016.
- Global safety metrics for employees have dramatically improved, with the Recordable Injury Frequency improving each year.
- Caterpillar has been granted nearly 7,300 patents worldwide.
- The company dramatically expanded its commitment to lower owning and operating costs for customers by connecting new and existing equipment through digital technology and data analytics.
“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,” Oberhelman said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to lead this company, and I am confident in the choice of my successor, Jim Umpleby.”
Umpleby joined Solar Turbines, a Caterpillar subsidiary, in 1980. He was named a Caterpillar vice president and president of Solar in 2010. He was named group president and a member of Caterpillar’s executive office in January 2013.
“For more than 91 years, Caterpillar equipment has been renowned for its quality, durability, innovation and value,” Umpleby said. “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.”
Ed Rust, former chairman/CEO of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., and currently presiding director of the Caterpillar board, will remain on the board, but will no longer hold the title of presiding director once Calhoun assumes the role of nonexecutive chairman.
A replacement for Umpleby will be announced at a later date, the company said.