Autodesk Taps New CEO

The CAD specialist promotes operations chief Carl Bass into the CEO spot, as longtime business leader Carol Bartz moves into her role as the firm's first executive chairman of the board.

Business software maker Autodesk Inc. announced Tuesday that it has named Carl Bass as its new president and chief executive, promoting him from the role of chief operating officer.

The San Rafael, Calif.-based maker of CAD (computer-aided design) applications said that Bass will take over his new position as of May 1, 2006, and that he has also been named to the Autodesk board of directors, effective immediately.

The company said that Bass will vacate the position of COO when he takes on the CEO role.

The new CEO has been with Autodesk for more than 10 years and served as executive vice president of its Design Solution Group before taking on the COO position where he oversaw the companys manufacturing, infrastructure, media and entertainment, building and wireless data services.

Prior to becoming COO, Bass also served as senior chief strategy officer, chief technology officer and executive vice president of emerging business at the firm.

Bass steps into the shoes being vacated by Carol Bartz, who will in turn become Autodesks first executive chairman of the board.

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Bartz, who has served as the companys CEO since April 1992, is considered to be the primary architect behind the firms dramatic growth from a small company a decade ago into its current status as a design software market segment leader with more than $1.2 billion in 2005 revenue.

In her new role, Bartz will be focused on business development, specifically in emerging markets such as China, India and Eastern Europe, the company said.

Autodesk achieved several milestones in 2005, including a revamp of its entire product line and the signing of a patent licensing deal with Microsoft Corp.

Under the agreement, the two companies gained access to each others intellectual property holdings, including patents for data management, collaboration and CAD technologies.

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