Following a previously announced succession plan, Doug Oberhelman succeeded Jim Owens this week as the chairman of the board of directors of Caterpillar Inc.
A 35-year veteran of Caterpillar, Oberhelman spent his first day as chairman and CEO meeting with Caterpillar dealers representing Latin America to discuss the company's updated strategy and to hear directly from dealers about how Caterpillar can improve on its product support capabilities for the rapidly growing Latin American market.
Oberhelman succeeded Jim Owens, who retired as chairman on Oct. 31, after more than 38 years with Caterpillar. Oberhelman succeeded Owens as CEO of Caterpillar on July 1.
"I am humbled to lead one of the truly great companies in the world," Oberhelman said. "Top to bottom, we have great people throughout the entire Caterpillar organization and along with our dealers, we are acutely focused on helping our customers succeed with the widest range of products and services in our industry."
Since becoming CEO of Caterpillar on July 1, Oberhelman has spent part of each week talking with customers and dealers from around the world and has visited Caterpillar facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
"Doug brings a very unique focus on product quality and customer satisfaction to the job while also providing deep business expertise that will drive financial performance and results for our stockholders," said W. Frank Blount, presiding director and chairman of the Governance Committee of Caterpillar's board of directors.
Headquartered in Peoria, Ill., Caterpillar is a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.