Heppelmann to Become PTC CEO In October

In a move that takes nobody by surprise, the current president and COO gets ready to take the reins. Red-hot Windchill is Heppelmann’s baby, so expect PTC’s current strategies to stay in place.

Jim Heppelmann
James Heppelmann

The next stage of PTC’s previously disclosed executive succession plan was announced today with Jim Heppelmann scheduled to replace C. Richard Harrison as chief executive office on October 1, 2010.

Heppelmann, 45, is currently president and chief operating officer. Harrison will become the company’s executive chairman in October. Heppelmann will report directly to the PTC board of directors.

Heppelmann joined PTC in 1998 as a senior vice president when PTC acquired Windchill Technology, a company he founded. He was promoted to executive vice president and chief technical officer in June 2001, and two years later was named executive vice president of the Software and Marketing Group and chief product officer. He joined PTC’s Board of Directors in May 2008 and was named president and COO in March 2009.

This has been a well-defined and well-orchestrated succession plan,” says Donald K. Grierson, PTC’s lead independent director. “The board couldn’t be more satisfied with its choice of Jim to take on the role of CEO.”

As Executive Chairman, Harrison, 54, will focus on key customer and investor relationships that support the company’s strategic initiatives, while continuing to perform his duties as Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors.

The Final Analysis

PTC started talking about “Product First” and putting its bully-boy past behind it not long after Heppelmann came aboard; we don’t think the two events were coincidental.

PTC’s Windchill technology for PLM data management is Heppelmann’s baby, and the big reason for the company’s current successes. With Heppelmann at the helm, we can expect PTC to become even more focused on the total PLM package, if that’s possible. We should also expect to see more integration of the company’s two CAD product, Pro/ENGINEER and CoCreate.