3D Printers

Stratasys Plays a Blinder on the Marketing Front

An interesting snippet of 3D printing industry business news has just crossed my desk and it caused me to raise a brow and laugh out loud. It comes from Stratasys, which has announced the appointment of Chris Morgan as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for the company.

So what, you might ask? Just another corporate move at the top end of one of the big two 3D printing companies, you may add.

Indeed, except there is a great deal of symbolism in this move too. You see it when you learn that Mr Morgan is a 25-year veteran of HP — the conglomerate that will, within the next two years, potentially become Stratasys’ (and 3D System’s) largest competitor.

It’s a statement! And it’s a significant one — with a tinge of humour. Significant in that the person now responsible for the public face of Stratasys has spent most, if not all, of his previous working life at HP. With 25 years of insider knowledge of the soon to be competitor, this is no small coup. Although it might just be me that finds this humorous!

Stratasys says of Mr Morgan: “His experience and skills are what we sought in a marketing leader.” While those skills and that experience are undoubtedly top notch and valuable — you can bet your bottom dollar that they were not all that was being sought.

Effective immediately, Morgan will assume responsibility for Stratasys’ global marketing activities, including developing strategy and building a global team that will support the company’s worldwide expansion and rapid growth. And the next two years of doing that will be key to how the 3D printing playing field levels out.

A further statement from Stratasys’ Executive Vice President, Dan Yalon, is also telling: “As a senior vice president of HP’s multi-billion dollar graphics solutions business in the Printing and Personal Systems Group, Morgan was responsible for several thousand employees worldwide and helped drive HP from challenger to established market leader.” That last phrase in particular — ‘from challenger to established market leader’ — is what caught my eye. Essentially, my guess would be that Mr Morgan’s remit is to do THAT again.

Pulling comments from the very top of the Stratasys hierarchy for this announcement, Stratasys CEO, David Reis also commented on the appointment: “Chris is an accomplished senior executive with an impressive background of building and growing multi-billion dollar businesses and developing high-performance organizations. At HP he was instrumental in helping shape the transition from analogue to digital in the 2D printer world.”