What Challenges Face The New 3D Systems CEO?

Last month 3D Systems’ long-time CEO, Avi Reichental, departed the company. What should be of concern to the not-yet-named replacement CEO? 

In the absence of an official CEO, the company is being run by a group of existing leaders, while they perform an extensive search to find a replacement for Reichental as the new CEO. 

While many pundits may provide “easy” advice to CEOs, the job is never easy. It’s a difficult job, and even moreso when you’re leading a complex conglomerate of different divisions, as is the case with 3D Systems. 

In the case of 3D Systems, the company has acquired over fifty different entities since 2001. Absorbing one company is always quite difficult, as each party has their own culture, objectives and process. Now imagine doing that with 54 companies! For 3D Systems, this meant dealing with a new entity on average every three months. 

Absorbing that many acquisitions simply isn’t feasible and as a result, 3D Systems today finds itself with a very large number of products, service, processes and cultures. Making that operation run smoothly cannot be easy. 

We think that bringing focus and consolidation could be the biggest challenge to the new CEO, whenever they are announced. 

Certainly 3D Systems has the tools, products, knowledge, staff and facilities to do many great things, but only if they are organized and focused in the optimum manner. It’s possible we could see a stronger level of rebranding for their services divisions, for example. We might also see unification and greater interoperability of their software products. We may even see them trim off less profitable lines of business and more progress on profitable lines. 

One internal reviewer on 3D Systems’ Glassdoor page suggested: 

Over investment in non-core segments have spread us too thin. We need to take decisive action quickly so that they don't continue to act as a distraction as we consolidate. Your people are your most important resource, don't' forget it.

Good advice for the new CEO, whoever they may turn out to be. 

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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