Caterpillar Streamlines Corporate Structure; Group President Ed Rapp Becomes CFO

Supporting its long-term strategy, considering officer retirements and recognising the need to create a leaner, more agile, customer-focused company, Caterpillar has announced a number of executive changes and a streamlined corporate structure. Vice chairman and chief executive officer (CEO)-elect, Doug Oberhelman, is leading a team that is updating the company’s strategy, which was first introduced by chairman and CEO Jim Owens in 2005.

The structural changes for Caterpillar start within the company’s executive office. Once he becomes CEO, effective 1 July 2010, Oberhelman will not be replaced as a group president. As such, the number of Caterpillar group presidents will be reduced from six to five. In addition, each of the remaining five group presidents will have divisions reporting to them that will provide greater clarity and structure so the group presidents and their organisations can deliver best-in-class products and services with attractive profitability across the entire company.

As part of the new structure, the chief financial officer (CFO) and chief legal officer (CLO) will report directly to the chairman and CEO. Group president Ed Rapp will become CFO and will lead many of the company’s corporate services divisions, which provide support and services across the entire Caterpillar enterprise.

After more than 32 years with the company, Dave Burritt will retire as Caterpillar’s vice president and CFO on 1 June 2010. Burritt has been in this position since 2004 and currently has responsibility for global finance and strategic services division, which spans six continents with responsibility for accounting, treasury, tax, investor relations, internal auditing, strategic and business development and finance transformation.

Burritt began his career at Caterpillar in 1978 as an accountant at the Mapleton foundry and has held various positions around the globe. Throughout his career he has created positive change. He led the business measurements effort resulting from our 1990 reorganisation, deployment of No Error – On Demand Business Information, corporate deployment of 6 Sigma and most recently, project and cash management of ‘trough’ planning during the recent financial crisis. Burritt graduated from Bradley University with a BSc degree in accounting in 1977 and received his MBA from the University of Illinois in 1990. Burritt is a certified public accountant (CPA), member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), a certified management accountant (CMA) and member of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). Burritt is also a member of the Lockheed Martin board of directors where he serves as its audit committee chairman.

As previously mentioned, the CFO position will be elevated to the company’s executive office, and Rapp will assume the CFO position and responsibilities for many of the company’s corporate services divisions effective 1 June 2010. Caterpillar has elected Brad Halverson, currently corporate controller, as vice president of finance and accounting effective 1 June 2010.

Halverson has had a variety of experiences of increasing responsibilities at Caterpillar. After auditing and tax experience with Price Waterhouse, he joined the company in 1988 as an accountant. In 1993, he moved to Geneva, Switzerland, as a strategy and planning consultant with Caterpillar Overseas. He went on to become controller in Europe, responsible for Caterpillar’s financial reporting in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and returned to the US in 1996 to manage general accounting and financial systems. From 1998 until 2002, Halverson managed a variety of business resources in Caterpillar’s engine division and was named director of corporate business development before becoming corporate controller in December 2004.


Related reading

New consumer banking head for Citi Asia Pacific