Caterpillar CEO to step down after 41-year stint at company

By Joshua Jamerson, for The Wall Street Journal

Oct 17, 2016

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Caterpillar Inc. said Chairman and Chief Executive Doug Oberhelman is slated to retire next year after leading the equipment maker to its highest annual sales ever before overseeing the longest sales decline in the company’s history.

The board selected Caterpillar executive Jim Umpleby, a company veteran and current head of the company’s energy and transportation business, to succeed Mr. Oberhelman in the CEO role, effective Jan. 1. Caterpillar’s board appointed Mr. Umpleby as CEO on Thursday, according to a filing Monday with regulators.

Mr. Oberhelman will remain as executive chairman of Caterpillar until March 31, when he will retire from the company. After that, board member Dave Calhoun will assume the role of nonexecutive chairman. Mr. Calhoun is senior managing director and head of private equity portfolio operations of Blackstone Group L.P.

A Caterpillar spokeswoman said the company’s board members decided to split the CEO and chairman roles because they thought it was the appropriate governing structure at this time.

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