It’s said that all good things must come to an end, and last week at Autodesk, they did, with the resignation of Carl Bass, Autodesk’s President and CEO.
While at SOLDIWORKS World last week, I received an early morning email from an Autodesk spokesperson that the company was announcing that Carl Bass had decided to step down from his role as President and CEO. “With our subscription and cloud business well underway, Carl and the board have determined that now is the right time for Carl to step aside and let someone else guide the company into its next phase,” said the spokesperson.
Carl Bass Steps Down. Source: Bloomberg
While the search is underway for a new President/CEO, Autodesk’s Board has formed an Interim Office of the Chief Executive to oversee the Company’s day-to-day operations, which will be headed by Amar Hanspal, senior vice president and chief product officer and Andrew Anagnost, senior vice president and chief marketing officer as interim co-chief executive officers.
Amar and Andrew are very capable and bring more than 50 years of combined experience at Autodesk. They both have strong backgrounds in product, strategy and go-to-market, and their combined expertise will continue to drive the company’s subscription business. While Autodesk said it was focusing on its transition to a cloud and subscription-based business, as part of that transition, the company last February laid off 10 percent of its workforce.
Note the emphasis on the “subscription business.” Since its inception, it’s something that has not set well with a lot of Autodesk customers and has been an ongoing bone of contention. Autodesk has hardly been alone with the subscription model, just look how Adobe has exploited it. However, Autodesk customers were left with no alternative deployment choices as the subscription hatched and proliferated.