Alumnus Umpleby Adds Chairman to Caterpillar Leadership Role

Wednesday, January 02, 2019
Jim Umpleby

Mechanical engineering alumnus and trustee Jim Umpleby serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Caterpillar Inc., a producer of machinery used at work sites throughout the world.

Alumnus and trustee Jim Umpleby has taken on additional leadership responsibilities at Caterpillar Inc., being named chairman along with chief executive officer of the Fortune 100 company. The action was taken by Caterpillar’s Board of Directors at a meeting on Dec. 12.

Umpleby, CEO since Jan. 1, 2017, has been widely credited with helping Caterpillar post strong revenue gains and growth in most markets. The company boosted its full-year profit twice in 2018 and announced its retail sales for November 2018 have risen 16 percent worldwide, despite concerns over rising costs due to tariffs, a stronger U.S. dollar and slower growth in the China economy.

Caterpillar was named to Fortune magazine’s World Most Admired Companies 2018 list, the 17th consecutive year it has been among the Top 50 all-stars.

Umpleby earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1980 and an honorary doctorate of engineering in 2017. He joined Rose-Hulman’s Board of Trustees in 2015 and presented the Commencement Address to the Class of 2018.