Back in September, we reported that the current CEO of MakerBot, Bre Pettis, would be stepping down as the leader of the company in order to move onto a new project called Bold Machines. At that time, many people were stunned by the news, and wondered how the company would fair under the leadership of the new Acting CEO Jenny Lawton.
It turns out that not much changed with Lawton as CEO, and the company continued to dominate the desktop 3D printing market in the several months with Lawton at the helm. While many people didn’t realize it, Lawton’s title, when she took over the reigns for MakerBot became “Acting CEO”. This provided some hints as to the fact that another change might be on the horizon, and today that change has been announced.
Jenny Lawton, the current ‘Acting’ CEO of MakerBot has informed 3DPrint.com that she will be promoted to executive vice president of Special Projects for parent company, Stratasys, Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS). She will be reporting directly to Stratasys CEO David Reis. Taking over for Lawton as CEO of MakerBot, will be Jonathan Jaglom, the current general manager for Stratasys Asia Pacific Japan.
3DPrint.com had the opportunity to speak with Lawton this morning to get a little more details on the move.
“The reason for the ‘Acting CEO’ (title) is because we knew that we were in the next stage of integration, and I had been talking with Stratasys about what the next steps are for MakerBot,” Lawton tells 3DPrint.com. “It’s been a transition that wasn’t something that was a surprise. It was something we have been working on, that has finally come together for us.”
Lawton, who has been with MakerBot since November of 2011, has played a key role in growing the company into one of the leaders within the desktop 3D printing space. She helped the company grow from just 40 employees to over 600 in the time she was there, and aided in the development of the entire MakerBot 3D Ecosystem.
“Being able to play in a corporate global role is a great next step for me, and for Jonathan to be able to [move] into another role as a promotion to him is also great,” Lawton tells us. “I look forward to everything. I love the chance to take what I have learned and use it, and I certainly love doing strategic things. I have some big ideas and I’m looking forward to implementing them on a global basis. I think you are going to start to hear more of the end-to-end story between MakerBot and Stratasys. I think that is just a natural maturation of the merger.”
These changes will take place on Sunday, March 1, and it should be interesting to see if and how MakerBot changes under the leadership of Jonathan Jaglom. Jaglom brings a ton of experience within the 3D printing industry to MakerBot, and we will be curious to see if his ideas can lead to a more widespread adoption of desktop 3D printing.
Stratasys CEO David Reis had this to say about the two promotions:
“We see these organizational moves as part of the continued scaling and integration of MakerBot. Leading the new product category of desktop 3D printing, MakerBot has experienced significant growth since inception, with sales expanding by more than 600 percent from 2012 to 2014. MakerBot has sold more than 80,000 units to date, while developing a significant brand. Jonathan Jaglom is bringing 10 years of experience as a key contributor to the outstanding performance and scaling of operations at Objet and then Stratasys and we believe he will be well-positioned to help MakerBot scale both operations and revenues. As a leader in the 3D printing industry, we intend to build on our strong track record of execution and integration following our mergers. MakerBot is part of that integration and we are very excited to nurture the unique opportunity for growth in the desktop 3D printing industry with MakerBot’s leadership position.”
Moving forward after this transition, Reis and his team at Stratasys and MakerBot, will be focusing on executing their investment program which is designed to further product development, build infrastructures and maintain and expand brand leadership.
Lawton, will undoubtedly be missed at MakerBot, as she was the brains behind many of the company’s moves. She played a huge role in the merger with Stratasys, and without her on board, MakerBot probably would not be where they are today. She is in full support of Jaglom taking over to lead the company which is very close to her heart, but surely she will still play an indirect role in helping MakerBot continue to grow.
“Jonathan is incredibly passionate,” Lawton tells us. “He has a big vision, [and] he’s been great at growing the Asia-Pacific. He’s bringing an energy, enthusiasm and passion to the table, and it’s great to be handing the baton off to someone who’s hot and ready to roll. It’s a good step for Jonathan, and a good step for the company (MakerBot) as well.”
This could be the start of more moves to come and promotions to be made within and between parent company Stratasys and subsidiary MakerBot. There is no doubt that the continued integration and employee movement will go a long way in helping both companies remain leaders within their particular market segments.
What do you think these moves will mean for the growth of both Stratasys and MakerBot? Do you look forward to what Jenny Lawton will be bringing to Stratasys in her new role, and what Jaglom has in store for MakerBot? Discuss in the ‘New MakerBot CEO’ forum thread on 3DPB.com.