MakerBot CEO Jonathan Jaglom is now the former CEO of MakerBot Industries.
The company announced this week the replacement of Jaglom as CEO with company President Nadav Goshen, who has been with the company for a little over two years.
Officially, MakerBot explains the reasons for the move:
Over the last two years, Jaglom and Goshen have worked closely together leading MakerBot’s reorganization and strategic shift. Jaglom will be returning to Israel to spend more time with his family.
And that’s probably true, but I read far more into this corporate maneuver.
Let’s first put things into perspective about this iconic 3D printer company by looking at the long view. It began in a Brooklyn makerspace in 2009 with three folks inventing a now quite primitive desktop 3D printer, and rapidly progressed to a large operation that was sold to Stratasys in 2013 for over USD$400M.
But to get to the point where the sale was possible, MakerBot, under initial CEO Bre Pettis, expanded at a very rapid rate, probably faster than could be properly managed. The result was that when Stratasys acquired the company, it was not in terrific shape. There were apparently problems with the production line and the new Replicator equipment just announced. The new Stratasys management ended up replacing almost everyone at the management level in the company over the next two years.
And that’s the point here: Jaglom, who was given the task of fixing up MakerBot, spent two years doing so. During that period the company announced virtually no new equipment, but made significant changes behind the scenes to transform the company into a fully functional operation in all aspects.
Now, think about MakerBot’s board of directors, whose primary role is to choose and supervise the CEO of their company. They chose Jaglom to come in and re-make the company. That was his role. We discussed this in detail with Jaglom last year in a long interview.
Now, we see that Jaglom has departed and a new CEO, Goshen, has taken over. What does this mean?
It means that MakerBot, internally, feels their transformation is now complete.
The role of the Board of Directors is to pick a CEO that has the specific skills to accomplish the current objectives. Very often when those objectives change, so does the CEO. Why? Because the current CEO’s skills might not be optimum for a new challenge. The Board simply changes them out for someone who does.
And now we see Nadav Goshen, who smartly was put in a high-level role during the transformation and is thus very familiar with the company’s operations. But his skills are quite different from Jaglom’s, and this could indicate where MakerBot is heading.
According to Goshen’s LinkedIn profile, we see he is an investor, a CEO of a startup, founder and shareholder. I get the impression he is a person focused on increasing value, which is probably what he’s going to do with the re-made MakerBot.
We wish him the best in that pursuit!