US: Executive shake up at PTC means new president and chairman

9 March 2009 | News | Source: PTC

PTC announced that C. Richard Harrison has been named chairman of PTC’s board of directors.  James Heppelmann has been named president and chief operating officer and will report to Mr. Harrison, who continues as chief executive officer.  Noel Posternak, previously PTC’s chairman, remains a member of the Board of Directors and will serve as PTC’s Lead Independent Director.  All changes became effective March 4, 2009.

“Dick Harrison and Jim Heppelmann are two of the best executives in this industry,” said Posternak.  “The partnership that they have formed over the last ten years has delivered valuable solutions for our customers and strong business results for our shareholders.  As CEO and president, Dick has focused relentlessly on setting a winning course for the company, and I’m confident that he will make an excellent chairman.  Together, he and Jim have guided the company to a leadership position, based on great technology and a focus on serving the customer.  In short, they’re a great combination.”

In addition to his new role as chairman, Mr. Harrison will continue as CEO and will have ultimate strategic and managerial oversight of the company.  Mr. Harrison will also continue to focus on cultivating the company’s relationships with strategic customers.  As president and chief operating officer, Mr. Heppelmann will assume responsibility for managing the operating business units of the company and will work closely with Mr. Harrison in setting company strategy.

“This succession plan has been underway for some time, as reflected by Jim’s appointment to the Board of Directors in 2008,” said Harrison.  “Given his accomplishments in leading our product development and marketing efforts, Jim has established himself as the company’s next leader and demonstrated that he will be successful running our operations.  This is a natural evolution of leadership at PTC.  I’m looking forward to working with Jim to evolve our winning business strategy, while also continuing to work with our customers to address their product development challenges.   I’ll rely on Jim to align our operating functions for best advantage.”

As a 20 year veteran of the PLM industry, Heppelmann has been responsible for some of the most important advancements in the industry.  Early in his career, Heppelmann helped start Metaphase and served as the company’s CTO.  He departed Metaphase to found Windchill Technology, with the vision of delivering the first web-native PLM system.  Subsequently joining PTC through an acquisition, Heppelmann quickly rose to the position of executive vice president and chief technology officer, responsible for all product strategy, product development, and marketing.

Harrison added, “Jim has a unique combination of entrepreneurial vision and the management skills necessary to run a large company.  He’s a relentless innovator and an inspiring leader who will rally the company behind him.  Combine those attributes with his ability to drive large-scale programs, and you’ve got the makings of a great president and COO.”

Commenting on Posternak’s contributions to PTC, Harrison added, “Noel’s contributions to PTC predate his service as our chairman.  He’s been involved since the founding of the company and has guided the company through both good times and difficult periods.  We’re pleased to have him continue as a member of the Board.”

Harrison joined PTC in 1987 as the vice president of sales distribution and led PTC’s rapid rise to prominence in 3D CAD.  He spent six years in the role of president and COO, assuming the role of CEO in 2000.  Recognizing the need to address larger product development issues for customers, Harrison transformed the company into a broad, enterprise software firm with multiple solutions.  Since that time, Harrison has led the company to market leadership, with record annual revenues and operating profits.

“Dick is a tremendous leader and mentor, and I’m looking forward to working with him in my new role,” said Heppelmann.  “He’s been the lifeblood of the company for almost 25 years, and his commitment to delivering value to customers and his passion for winning are qualities that are infused in all of us.  The good news is that he’s as committed today as he was in the beginning, and I don’t see that changing as a result of this transition.”

Heppelmann added, “The PTC executive management team is the best in the business, and I’m pleased to have their support.  This team has worked together for years, and we’re all looking forward to PTC’s next great run.  To a person, we care deeply about the company, our customers, and our employees, and when combined with the competitive advantage that we have in the market, we’re excited about our future.”

 

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