Since becoming chairman and CEO in 2010 Doug Oberhelman has driven hard to position the Peoria-IL company to take advantage of growth in world markets and increased demand around the world. This growth has pushed Caterpillar’s footprint in emerging markets to the point where 70 percent of the company’s topline revenue comes from outside the U.S. Some 10 years ago the non-U.S. to U.S. ratio was closer to 50/50.
Not surprisingly the company is deeply interested in expanding its global footprint around infrastructure improvement. “Today there are 7 billion people on the planet and 98 percent of them are open for business. When I joined Cat starting my business career there were 3.5 billion people in the world with less than a billion of them open for business,” observes Caterpillar’s CEO. “I view this as a tremendous business opportunity, not only for us but for American business in general.”
Last year, Caterpillar’s investment in capital expenditure’s was $2.6 billion and is expected to rise to $4 billion by the end of 2012. Under Oberhelman’s leadership Caterpillar completed three major acquisitions, including the biggest in its history—the $8.8 billion purchase of Bucyrus International. Electro-Motive Diesel was also acquired allowing Cat to solidify its position in the railroad industry. The acquisition of Germany’s Motoren-Werke Mannheim Holding allowed Cat to push further into the market for sustainable power generation solutions, as demand grows for alternative and sustainable fuels.
Oberhelman’s concerns at home are uppermost in his mind since the recent Presidential election. “How do we get out of this debt mess better than Europe did,” he asks rhetorically. “We need to come out of this stronger than we are.” Oberhelman is one of several industry leaders that are part of the “Fix the Debt Campaign” lobbying Washington to come to grips with the $16 trillion debt facing the U.S.
Oberhelman will open Chief Executive’s CEO2CEO Summit at 9:00AM and will be speaking about “Winning in a Global World.” [insert reg links etc. here]