Autodesk Inc. announced that Carl Bass, the company's chief operating officer, has been named president and chief executive officer, effective May 1, 2006. Bass also has been appointed to the company's expanded Board of Directors, effective immediately.
Carol Bartz, who has served as CEO since April 1992, will become the company's first Executive Chairman of the Board.
"Carl Bass is one of the most respected executives in this industry and has played an integral leadership role in Autodesk's success," Bartz said. "He has a deep knowledge of the industry and the business as well as a keen understanding of our customers and the demands they face every day. As I assume my new duties as Executive Chairman, Carl's appointment as CEO represents a natural evolution of leadership at Autodesk."
As COO, Bass has had overall responsibility for sales, marketing and product development in Autodesk's core businesses: manufacturing, infrastructure, media and entertainment, building and wireless data services. Bass' commitment to Autodesk's customers spans his 10-year-long career with the company. Before serving as COO, he was senior executive vice president of the Design Solutions Group. He also served as chief strategy officer, chief technology officer and executive vice president of emerging business, looking broadly across the Autodesk organization at strategy and growth opportunities that have enabled the company to expand its portfolio of products and services, and enter new markets.
"It is through Carol's strong and decisive leadership that Autodesk secured its preeminent position in the market today," said Carl Bass. "As 3D technology is creating the next great transition in the industries we serve, Autodesk will continue to be at the forefront of providing technology that supports the ideas of the most innovative and creative customers around the globe, from manufacturing to building, infrastructure, and media and entertainment. I'm honored to be able to build on the legacy of Carol's tenure as CEO."
As Executive Chairman, Bartz will focus her energies on improving the business climate for Autodesk around the world, particularly in emerging markets such as China, India and Eastern Europe, as well as work to build even stronger relationships with Autodesk's key customers, partners and investors. During her 14 years as CEO, Bartz guided Autodesk from its start as a small company to an established and well-diversified design software and services company. With approximately $1.5 billion in annual revenue, Autodesk is acknowledged as one of the best run companies in America. Today, Autodesk is the recognized leader in 3D technology and services. This month Autodesk was named one of America's best big companies, and one of the best-managed companies, by Forbes magazine. In addition, Fortune magazine named Autodesk one of the 100 best companies to work for and named Bartz to their 2005 list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.
"Carol absolutely transformed Autodesk over the past 14 years, delivering tremendous value to shareholders, customers and employees alike. In her new role as Executive Chairman, we're confident she will continue to focus her considerable expertise and skills on helping Autodesk grow and prosper under Carl Bass," said J. Hallam Dawson, chairman of IDI Associates and longest standing member of Autodesk's board. "As CEO, Carl brings a passion for Autodesk that he has honed during his time as COO. As Autodesk undertakes this evolution of its management team, Carl has every tool necessary to continue executing the company's strategy and delivering results for customers, employees and shareholders."
Source: Autodesk Inc., Jan. 17, 2006.