Caterpillar (CAT) VP Henricks to Retire; Will Form New Research, Tech, Product Development Division

August 18, 2016 2:05 PM EDT

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Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) announced the following changes:

  • Following a distinguished career of more than 35 years with the company, Gwenne Henricks, currently vice president with responsibility for the Product Development & Global Technology Division (PD>), is retiring.
  • The company will form a single research, technology and product development division to deliver high-quality product differentiation and system integration. Current Advanced Component & System Division (ACSD) Vice President Jean Savage will lead this newly formed team of ACSD and PD> employees.
  • The manufacturing functions within ACSD will be led by current ACSD Operations General Manager Steve Ferguson, who will report directly to Resource Industries Group President Denise Johnson and drive lean, cost-competitive component manufacturing operations.

Henricks has spent the last four years leading the company's R&D and technology strategies, concluding a successful 35 years of service to the company.

"Gwenne has spent her entire career in engineering, product and business management, which made her the absolute right advocate and leader to deploy the Enterprise Technology Strategy and strengthen the global engineering talent pipeline," said Denise Johnson. "She is one of the most collaborative leaders who's always focused on what's best for the enterprise – whether that's defining and executing on a turnaround plan during her time as Industrial Power Systems Division vice president or as a critical member of the Tier 4 emissions rollout across Caterpillar's extensive product line. I thank Gwenne for her commitment to this company for more than three decades, and I wish her only the best in her well-deserved retirement."

Since joining Caterpillar in 1981, Henricks held numerous product development, management and business leadership positions with increasing responsibility before being named vice president with responsibility for the Electronics and Connected Worksite Division in 2007. She then became vice president with responsibility for the Industrial Power Systems Division before the Board of Directors named her to her most recent position in 2012.

Henricks has both a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in electrical engineering from Bradley University, a master's in business administration from the University of Illinois and completed the Managing Engineering Design and Development Program at Carnegie Bosch Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.

Savage, who joined Caterpillar subsidiary Progress Rail Services (PRS) in 2002, has an extensive background in engineering and manufacturing with PRS, Caterpillar and in the industry for 14 years prior. She also spent nine years in the Army Reserves as a military intelligence officer. Savage has a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in engineering management from the University of Dayton. Her proven leadership and background solidly position her to bring these two groups together as one new team focused on evolving Caterpillar's technology and product development.

"Jean's role in leading the formation and development of this new organization will be critical in establishing how Caterpillar accelerates our global research, technology and product development strategies. Our end goal remains – helping our customers through the development and delivery of differentiated products," said Johnson. "The creation of this division will also deliver necessary efficiencies, which does mean continued and significant workforce reductions. While difficult, the streamlining at all levels of the company, including within the officer ranks, is necessary given the global market environment that is impacting the company's business."

The organizational changes are effective September 1, 2016. For full bios of each of the officers, visit

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