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Caterpillar CEO to step down next year

In a release from Caterpillar on Monday, CEO and Chairman Doug Oberhelman will retire from the company next year and will be replaced as CEO by Jim Umpleby, an executive who has worked at the construction and mining equipment company for more than three decades.

Umpleby, who is 58 years old, will become CEO on Jan. 1. Umpleby is currently the president of Caterpillar’s energy and transportation group.¬†Oberhelman, 63, will step down as CEO at the end of the year and leave the chairman position at the end of March. He has been CEO since 2010 and has been with the company for more than 41 years, Arkansas Business reports.

Photo by Joe Kramer

Caterpillar manufacturing plant in North Little Rock.

Despite stockholder worries about the companies performance in previous months, Caterpillar Spokeswoman Rachel A. Potts, assures that the transfer of power from Oberhelman to Umpleby will be smooth and shouldn’t shake consumers confidence in the company.

“The transition process is already underway, and Doug and Jim will work together to ensure a smooth transition, just as previous CEOs have done. Throughout the rest of this year, Doug remains as CEO, and Jim remains Group President of Energy & Transportation,” Potts said.

After the layoffs at the North Little Rock plant last month, where 50 full-time employees and 10 agency employees were cut from the roster, following a national trend after a demand downturn in 2012, many stockholders anxiously await the third quarter numbers set to be released on Oct. 25.

“We’ve had global workforce reductions throughout the downturn related to restructuring and volume. I cannot give a sense or feeling of our earnings we wouldn’t comment on them before we release at 6:30 a.m.”

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