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Caterpillar's CEO retires

Caterpillar's board of directors have appointed James Owens, currently vice chairman, as the next chairman and CEO of the company. Owens will replace Glen Barton, who retires on January 31, 2004 after nearly 43 years with Caterpillar, five of which he spent as chairman and CEO.

“Jim brings a broad understanding of Caterpillar’s business strategy as group president for a diverse set of business units, including human services, component manufacturing, product support, logistics, information technology and Latin American marketing,” said Barton.

Caterpillar has a mandatory retirement age for officers of 65 years, which Barton will reach in August 2004.

“Making this change now rather than mid-year allows us to align our leadership transition with Caterpillar’s annual planning cycle, when the overall organization is setting performance expectations for the new year,” Barton added.

Owens, 57, joined Caterpillar in 1972 as a corporate economist and held various management positions in economics, accounting and product source planning. In 1987 he became managing director of PT Natra Raya, Caterpillar's joint venture in Indonesia. He became a corporate vice president in 1990 and was named president of Solar Turbines, a Caterpillar subsidiary in San Diego. In 1993 he became chief financial officer and in 1995 assumed the role of group president.

Owens was appointed vice chairman today with immediate effect. He will succeed Barton as chairman and CEO on
February 1, 2004


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