Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone, co-founder of Silicon Valley 3D printing company Carbon, has stepped down as CEO of the company. Now taking a position as Executive Chairman of the Board, DeSimone makes way for Ellen J. Kullman, who has served as lead independent director of the board since 2016, to takeover as CEO.
Chairman and CEO of leading chemical conglomerate DuPont between 1988 and 2015, Kullman brings a wealth of operational expertise to the position, which marks the start of Carbon’s “next chapter.”
Speaking on Kullman’s appointment and his new role, DeSimone stated, “For the last six years, I have led Carbon as Chief Executive Officer and am enormously proud of what we’ve accomplished during my tenure. I know what we will accomplish under Ellen will be even more extraordinary.
“Ellen is the right person to lead Carbon today. She has broad experience across multiple businesses, cycles, and geographies. Her vision, outstanding leadership traits, and distinguished track record will continue to drive Carbon’s growth into the future.”
The “Next Chapter” of Carbon
This leadership arrangement has been in the works at Carbon for at least the past 12 – 18 months. Writing about the move in a blog post DeSimone explains, “[…] over the past 12-18 months I have been strengthening the leadership bench at Carbon, hiring some of the world’s best people to help shape our future.” Part of this “strengthening the leadership bench at Carbon,” has included the appointment of Deborah Messemer to the board, and Elisa de Martel’s promotion to CFO in 2018.
DeSimone continues, “As I began to plan for 2020, I had an important realization—I knew it was time for me to take another important step—one I’ve seen taken by founders at other great companies like Intuit, Google, and Palo Alto Networks. So, today, I am assuming the Executive Chairman role at Carbon, which will allow me to focus on what I do best to bring the most long-term value to our company.”
DeSimone’s new role will allow the co-founder to concentrate on encouraging mainstream adoption of the Carbon Digital Manufacturing Platform, which recently saw the addition of the L1 3D printer model. The role also includes “evangelizing the company’s vision to existing and prospective customers, partners, and the public.” By contrast, Kullman’s role will be to lead the development of short- and long-term strategies in order to deliver value. Nevertheless, the two will continue to work closely together, “I am privileged to have spent the last few years on the Carbon board working alongside Joe, one of the greatest entrepreneurs and scientists of our time,” commented Kullman, adding, “Joe has built Carbon into the world’s leading digital manufacturing platform, and as President and CEO of Carbon, I am excited to partner with Joe and build on the solid foundations he’s put into place.”
More about Ellen Kullman
Kullman’s career has its foundations in Sale and Marketing for Westinghouse Electric Company and subsequently GE. Presently, Kullman serves as a board member of aviation and aerospace leader United Technologies, Dell, biotechnology company Amgen, Goldman Sachs and Paradigm for Parity, a coalition of business leaders dedicated to addressing the leadership gender gap in corporate America.
Notably, in Kullman’s time serving as lead independent director of the board, Carbon’s executive team has grown to include 5 female members (out of a total of 13) and 2 out of 9 members of the board, including Kullman herself, are female.
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Featured image shows Carbon Appoints Ellen Kullman President and CEO, Dr. Joseph DeSimone Named Executive Chairman. Photo via Carbon