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Cat's Oberhelman to Retire; Umpleby Will Take Over


After more than 41 years with Caterpillar Inc., Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman has elected to retire, effective March 31, 2017. 

Umpleby Oberhelman
Jim Umpleby Doug Oberhelman

During his time as chairman and CEO, the company said Oberhelman has reinvigorated the company’s focus on serving customers while also driving a culture of quality and safety. Oberhelman led the company to its highest sales and revenue peak in its 91-year history in 2012, and, since that time, has led the company through the unprecedented downturn affecting key industries.

The company’s board of directors elected Jim Umpleby, currently a Caterpillar group president with responsibility for energy and transportation, to succeed Oberhelman as CEO.

Umpleby, a 35-year veteran of the company, will join the Caterpillar board of directors and become CEO effective Jan. 1, 2017. He joined Solar Turbines Inc. in San Diego, 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 of directors elected Umpleby as Caterpillar vice president and president of Solar Turbines in 2010. He was named group president and a member of Caterpillar’s executive team, effective January 2013.