Caterpillar CEO names departure date

DOUG Oberhelman, who has been Caterpillar’s CEO since 2010, is to retire from the role on March 31. He will be replaced by Caterpillar Energy and Transportation group president Jim Umpleby.
Caterpillar CEO names departure date Caterpillar CEO names departure date Caterpillar CEO names departure date Caterpillar CEO names departure date Caterpillar CEO names departure date

Doug Oberhelman (left) with fellow Caterpillar executives Denise Johnson and Rob Charter.

Noel Dyson

Oberhelman is also chairman of the Caterpillar board and he will relinquish that to Dave Calhoun, also on March 31.

During his time with the company Oberhelman saw both the highs and the lows. He led the company to its highest sales and revenue peak in its 91-year history in 2012 and has presided over its fall as the mining industry went into a massive downturn.

One of Oberhelman’s main moves as Caterpillar CEO was the company’s purchase of Bucyrus for $US7.6 billion in late 2010.

That deal started to look a bit sick as the industry went the downturn bit. It looked even worse this year when Komatsu lodged a bid for Joy – a similar sized company to Bucyrus with very similar offerings – of just $3.7 billion.

Oberhelman admitted, when asked by Australia’s Mining Monthly that, with the benefit of hindsight, Caterpillar probably paid too much for Bucyrus.

However, he did not regret the deal because of the extra capabilities it brought to the company and also because he believes mining will enjoy a renaissance in the not too distant future.

Umpleby is a 35-year veteran of Caterpillar, joining its subsidiary Solar Turbines in 1980. 

Early in his career he held positions of increasing responsibility in engineering, sales, manufacturing, marketing and customer services.

Umpleby lived in Asia from 1984 to 1990 with assignments in Singapore, and Malaysia.

He was made president of Solar Turbines in 2010 and named group president and a memper of Caterpillar’s executive office in 2013.

Calhoun has been a member of Caterpillar’s board of directors since 2011.

He is senior managing director and head of private equity portfolio operations of the Blackstone Group.

Oberhelman joined the Caterpillar treasury department in 1975 and was made a vice-president and chief financial officer in 1995. From 2002 to 2010 he was a group president with responsibility for many of the company’s core businesses.