A company is only as good as its workers, and while that applies both to leadership and other employees, a company’s leader is obviously a critical component. It’s always an uncertain time for any company when a CEO leaves and a new one must be found to replace him or her. Stratasys is now facing that uncertainty as CEO Ilan Levin has announced his resignation as Chief Executive Officer and Director, effective June 1st.
Levin took over as CEO in 2016 when then-CEO David Reis retired. At that time, he had been serving as Director of the company since 2012.
“I am honored to be taking on the role as CEO and to continue working with the global Stratasys team to advance our company’s goals and values,” Levin said at the time.
Prior to its merger with Stratasys, Levin served as the President and Vice Chairman of Objet Ltd., beginning in 2000. He also previously worked as the Executive Director of CellGuide, a designer and manufacturer of high-performance, integrated GPS solutions for mobile devices.
Levin is resigning during an already difficult time for Stratasys, which reported disappointing financial results for the first quarter of 2018, followed by falling stock prices. This came as something of a surprise after a strong finish to 2017.
“We are disappointed with our revenue for the first quarter, which is primarily attributed to underperformance in North America related to high end system orders, specifically from customers in government and other key verticals such as aerospace and automotive,” Levin said of the results. “We do not believe that our first quarter revenue represents a fundamental change in the demand environment in the North American market. We continue to maintain a strong pipeline of opportunities, and are not modifying the full year guidance we issued earlier this year. Despite our revenue results in the period we continued our positive trend of operational discipline and cash generation. We remain committed to our investments in long-term initiatives that include advancements in our core FDM and PolyJet technologies, new metal additive manufacturing platform, advanced composite materials, and software and application development.”
The task of pulling Stratasys back up from its disappointing start to 2018 will fall to Levin’s successor, who has not yet been named.
Until a new CEO is appointed, the company will be led by Elchanan (Elan) Jaglom, the current Chairman of the Board. Jaglom’s service in the position of Chairman and CEO simultaneously will require approval from shareholders according to Israeli law; Stratasys will call a shareholder meeting to seek that approval.
Stratasys’ Board of Directors has appointed an Oversight Committee to help support the management of the company during the time until a successor is appointed. The committee is composed of Reis along with Directors Scott Crump, previous Chairman and Founder, and Dov Ofer. The Board of Directors also established an Executive Search Committee to oversee an international executive search firm to find a new CEO. This committee is composed of Jaglom and Victor Leventhal, the Chairman of the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors.
“The Board of Directors is appreciative of Ilan’s contributions to Stratasys and Objet for over 15 years,” said Jaglom. “Ilan has implemented a number of key decisions as CEO that have kept the Company strong and ready for future expansion. We thank Ilan for his dedicated leadership of our Company during this phase in Stratasys’ history.”
Stratasys has bounced back from difficult times before, and has a lot going for it despite its financial difficulties. The company announced its upcoming move into metal 3D printing recently, and has been working with everyone from major animation studios to NASA to the VA to implement its 3D printing solutions. Whoever steps up to the position of CEO next will have work to do, but will have a strong foundation to work from.
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