Carl Bass Steps Down from Role as CEO of Autodesk Without a Replacement

Autodesk today announced that Carl Bass is stepping down as president and chief executive officer, effective immediately.

The company’s board says that it has instituted a CEO search to consider candidates inside and outside Autodesk and has formed an “Interim Office of the Chief Executive” to oversee the company’s day-to-day operations.

Bass will remain on staff as a special advisor to the company in support of the transition to a new CEO.

“I’ve worked with Carl through his tenure as CEO of Autodesk, and I’ve always valued his focus and vision, as well as his rare combination of business and technical expertise,” said Crawford Beveridge, who will remain non-executive chairman of the board. “With Carl at the helm, the company has led its industry’s move to subscription and Autodesk was the first to recognize and embrace the implications of cloud and mobile technology on design and production across countless industries around the world.”

“It’s been my honor to lead Autodesk through this exciting period of growth and change,” commented Bass. “The company’s strategy is working, the management team is strong and it’s the right time for me to step aside.”

Autodesk also announced a new agreement between Autodesk and Sachem Head Capital Management, which calls for two of Sachem Head’s 2016 director nominees, Scott Ferguson and Jeff Clarke, to resign from the board of directors.

The Interim Office of the Chief Executive 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.

Bass and Autodesk’s board say they began discussing a potential CEO transition more than 18 months ago as part of the board’s longstanding CEO succession planning process.

“The board and I have the utmost confidence in Amar and Andrew to lead our business and continue our strong operational performance as we look for Carl’s successor,” said Beveridge.

It’s the End of the App as We Know It