Jürgen von Hollen, most recently the President of industrial robot developer Universal Robots, replaces Jos Burger as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dutch 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker. Burger will be stepping down at the end of 2020 after seven years with the company, including the last five as CEO, and will join the Supervisory Board.
Von Hollen has more than 16 years of global business experience and proven leadership in fast-growth technology industries. During his time as President of Universal Robots, von Hollen was responsible for leading the company through a period of explosive growth, driving the adoption of easy-to-use, safe, and economical collaborative robots, also known as cobots, across the globe, and establishing the brand as a global market leader in collaborative robotics.
With a resume that includes leading positions at big players like Deutsche Telekom, Daimler-Benz aerospace and Daimler-Chrysler Services, Pentair, and Bilfinger SE, von Hollen also adds his extensive international experience to the mix, after living and working in eight different countries across Europe, America, Asia, and Africa. A sought-out trait for CEOs, international work experience tends to be related to a greater ability to manage international diversification and market entry strategies. The experience will certainly come in handy as Ultimaker has a wide network of resellers and over 400 employees worldwide to help accelerate the transition to digital distribution and local manufacturing.
“I am very excited to be joining the Ultimaker team, which has developed a leading product, strong business model, and has a very talented team,” said von Hollen, who will effectively assume as Ultimaker’s CEO on January 1, 2021. “I believe this uniquely positions Ultimaker to take full advantage of a USD 35 billion 3D printing market and outgrow this market, which itself is expected to grow at 20% per annum. Ultimaker has the ability to enable dynamic innovation, flexible manufacturing, and delivers great productivity improvements. Together, we want to transform organizations and Ultimaker is in a great position to grow as the leader.”
Von Hollen will follow in the steps of Burger, who joined Ultimaker in 2014 and transformed the company from a startup to a global player in the 3D printing industry. Since its foundation, the business has been focused on empowering 3D printing adoption worldwide. Known for developing Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printers, 3D printing software, and selling branded 3D printing materials, Ultimaker has gone on to launch new software solutions and machines, engaged in collaborative projects, and widened its global support team. ma
During the first six months of 2020, Ultimaker experienced double-digit growth year-over-year globally, including over 30% growth in the U.S. alone. This was due in part to the chaotic disruption in manufacturing from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in a paradigm shift in the global supply chain. Localized manufacturing, reduced downtime, and cost reduction have become priorities that coincided with the heightened awareness of professional 3D printing and its impact on productivity. Ultimaker’s notable growth is evidence of this rising trend.
In fact, according to recent findings from UK market intelligence firm CONTEXT, in the first half of 2020, the strong demand for work-from-home scenarios allowed Ultimaker to ascend to the top two positions in global 3D printer hardware shipment revenues. While businesses worldwide have been struggling to adapt to a new economic reality, Ultimaker became the leader in the Professional Price Class printer segment, with a 40% market share of hardware revenues. In addition to its continued business growth, Ultimaker also launched two enterprise solutions in the first half of the year, the Ultimaker Essentials software platform and a new eLearning platform called Ultimaker 3D Printing Academy. Both products further the company’s mission to enable easy and intuitive 3D printing for enterprise customers.
“I’m tremendously proud of everything we achieved at Ultimaker in a short period of time. The transformation from a start-up to a company that now shapes how companies produce and manufacture is phenomenal,” said Burger. “The last seven years have been intense, and given my age, it’s now time to retire from the CEO role. All the building blocks that will sustain future growth are there, and now it’s the best moment to hand over to Jürgen. Ultimaker continues to have a unique space in my heart, and I’m thrilled with the opportunity to serve on the Supervisory Board.”
Ultimaker has been working on a strategy fully focused on the professional and industrial markets, which has clearly given it an edge over competitors, to take advantage of the newly increased demand for equipment. von Hollen joins Ultimaker at an exciting time in the development of the business. So far, 2020 – one of the worst years in recent economic history – has turned out to be a hallmark time for the company, thanks to several significant business breakthroughs and growth milestones that position it for continued expansion in the second half of 2020 and well into the future. Hopefully, the new CEO will continue to build on these successes.
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