Caterpillar Says Ed Rapp to Lead Construction

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) said Chief Financial Officer Ed Rapp will take over responsibility for construction industries and growth markets as part of a reshuffle of senior management at the the world’s biggest construction and mining-equipment maker.

Rapp, 55, will start as group president effective Jan. 1 replacing Rich Lavin, who will retire, Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar said today in a statement. The company also announced the retirement of Gerard Vittecoq, group president for energy and power systems, who will be replaced by Jim Umpleby, currently vice president for solar turbines.

Brad Halverson, vice president with responsibility for finance services, will replace Rapp as CFO.

Rapp will relocate to Singapore as the company works toward market leadership goals for growth markets such as China, where Caterpillar’s progress has faltered this year as the country’s economic growth slowed. While Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman has said he expects the company to be the market leader in China by 2015 at the latest, Caterpillar has moved inventories out of the country this year after demand cooled.

“I am confident our new leaders will build on the work of their predecessors as we move toward our 2015 goals and beyond,” Oberhelman said in the statement.

Caterpillar on Sept. 24 cuts its 2015 profit forecast to $12 to $18 a share from $15 to $20. Oberhelman has bet on a continuation of growth in commodity demand by buying mining- equipment maker Bucyrus International Inc. for $8.6 billion last year and agreeing in November to acquire ERA Mining Machinery Ltd. in China.

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