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2/10/2017 | 1 MINUTE READ

President, CEO of Autodesk Steps Down

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Carl Bass, who has overseen the company’s move to a subscription-only business model, will be replaced by two interim co-CEOs until a replacement is found.

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Carl Bass has stepped down as president and CEO of Autodesk Inc. (San Francisco, California). The company’s board has instituted a CEO search to consider candidates inside and outside Autodesk and has formed an Interim Office of the Chief Executive to oversee the company's day-to-day operations. Mr. Bass will remain on staff as a special advisor to the company in support of the transition to a new CEO; he will continue to sit on the Autodesk board of directors and will be nominated for reelection at the 2017 annual meeting of shareholders.

Crawford W. Beveridge, who will remain non-executive chairman of the board, says that under Mr. Bass’ direction, “Autodesk has transformed from a 2D design company into the worldwide leader of 3D design and engineering software.”

In a published letter to Autodesk employees, Mr. Bass writes that he and the board had begun discussing his stepping down within the last two years, adding: “Our transition to an all-subscription business model is well underway, we’re enjoying early but strong success in the cloud and we have settled with our activist investors.  Now seems like the right time, for both the company and for me.”

Mr. Bass and Autodesk’s board began discussing a potential CEO transition more than 18 months ago as part of the board’s longstanding CEO succession planning process. When Sachem Head began acquiring company stock in late 2015, Mr. Bass and the board put discussions regarding a permanent successor on hold, determining that stable leadership was important to help Autodesk navigate investor negotiations while successfully advancing its transition to cloud-based technologies and a subscription-only business model. Given the new agreement with Sachem Head, it was decided that this was the right time to identify the individual that will lead Autodesk’s next stage of growth.

, The Interim Office of the Chief Executive will ensure Autodesk’s continued focus on business performance and technological innovation during the transition. The office will be headed by Amar Hanspal, senior vice president and chief product officer, and Andrew Anagnost, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, as interim co-CEOs. 

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