Brad Halverson to Retire as Caterpillar CFO

The company credits him with playing a "critical role" in its restructuring after a years-long sales downturn.
Matthew HellerAugust 1, 2017

Caterpillar, which has recently shown signs of financial recovery after a years-long slump, announced Tuesday that CFO Brad Halverson will retire as CEO in early 2018 after more than three decades with the construction and mining giant.

Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby thanked Halverson for his many years of service, noting that he assumed the CFO role in 2013 “just as we faced an unprecedented downturn in our business.”

“The company undertook significant restructuring in response to the downturn, and Brad played a critical role in that process, helping the company maintain a strong balance sheet and good cash flow,” Umpleby said in a news release.

“Brad also provided strong leadership for Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation, which maintained strong financial metrics … during the downturn,” he added.

In recent months, Caterpillar has beat analysts’ estimates and grown sales in what its executives characterize as the beginning of a recovery. For the second quarter, it posted revenue of $11.33 billion, up 10% on the year-ago period, and net income of $802 million, up 45.8%.

“In addition to cutting head count, Mr. Umpleby, who became CEO in January, has dealt with working to shrink the company’s manufacturing footprint and with a raid by federal agents at the company’s Peoria, Ill. headquarters,” The Wall Street Journal noted.

As The New York Times reports, Caterpillar’s tax practices “have been a focus of government investigators” since 2014. The IRS has demanded that it pay $2 billion in taxes and penalties for shifting profit to its Swiss unit to reduce its U.S. tax bill.

Halverson, 56, started at Caterpillar in 1988 as an accountant before spending several years working for the company in Europe. He returned to the U.S. in 1996 and, from 1998 to 2002, served as CFO of Caterpillar’s Engine Division. He was the corporate controller from 2004 to 2010.

Caterpillar said it would launch a global, external search to fill the CFO position, with Halverson staying on into early 2018 to help ensure a smooth transition.

“I’ve had a great career with Caterpillar, and I’m blessed and fortunate to be in a position to retire and spend more time with my family,” Halverson said.

4 Powerful Communication Strategies for Your Next Board Meeting