Caterpillar has elected Douglas Oberhelman as vice chairman and chief executive officer (CEO)-elect, effective 1 January 2010 until June 2010, when he will be elected CEO. Oberhelman currently serves as group president with responsibility for the company’s engine and gas turbine businesses, human services, rail services and remanufacturing divisions. As vice chairman and CEO-elect, Oberhelman will take on the additional responsibilities of managing the leadership transition and updating the company’s strategy. He succeeding James Owens, who is retiring in the autumn of 2010.
Oberhelman joined Caterpillar in 1975 in the corporate treasury department and has held a variety of positions, including senior finance representative based in South America for Caterpillar Americas; region finance manager and district manager for the company’s North American Commercial Division; and managing director and vice general manager for strategic planning at Shin Caterpillar Mitsubishi in Tokyo, Japan.
Oberhelman was elected a vice president in 1995, serving as Caterpillar’s CFO with administrative responsibility for the corporation’s accounting, information services, tax, treasury, investor relations and marketing support services areas from 1995 to November 1998. He then became vice president with responsibility for the engine products division, including the market development, strategic planning, supplier management, electric power generation and worldwide marketing and administration for Caterpillar’s engine business. He was elected a group president and member of Caterpillar’s executive office in 2002 and has had responsibility for the company’s Asia-Pacific region as well as Cat’s financial products and strategic support divisions. He also was responsible for the legal services and systems and processes divisions. He currently oversees the human services and sustainable development functions as well as Caterpillar’s growing remanufacturing business. He also leads the worldwide manufacturing, marketing and support of industrial and large power systems, industrial gas turbines and Progress Rail Services.
Oberhelman has a bachelor’s degree from Millikin University. He has served as chairman of the board of trustees for Millikin University and chairman of the board of directors for NC2 Global, a Caterpillar and Navistar International joint venture. He is a former director for the boards of South Side Bank, Millikin University and Easter Seals. He is director for the boards of The Nature Conservancy – Illinois Chapter; Ameren Corporation, serving as chairman of the Ameren Corporation Audit Committee and a member of the Nominating and Governance Committee; and Eli Lilly and Company, serving on the Audit and Finance Committees. He is also a member of the board of the National Association of Manufacturers, the Manufacturing Institute and the Wetlands America Trust.
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