Caterpillar: Doug Oberhelman (CEO)
|Why this is a big quit:
After 41 years at the heavy machinery company, and the last 7 at the helm, Doug Oberhelman decided to call it quits. Under Oberhelman, Caterpillar’ sales and revenue blossomed to its highest ever in 2012. Oberhelman was known for taking bold risks, including putting billions in new capital into the business and making his biggest acquisition, the $8.6 billion purchase of a mining equipment manufacturer, Bucyrus International.
Why this is not as big as the top 10:
Unfortunately for Oberhelman, the high-risk high-reward decisions did not turn in his favor. While at the time his daring moves were met with excitement, it’s ultimately what led to his downfall. The latter half of Oberhelman’s reign was marked by falling sales and the realization that fortune does not always favor the bold. Oberhelman handed over the keys to Jim Umpleby, who has been with the company for 35 years, to navigate the tough business conditions ahead.