Stratasys has replaced their interim CEO with a new leader, Yoav Zeif.
The long-time leader in 3D printing had previously been led by “interim CEO” Elan Jaglom, who took the helm of the organization after the prior CEO, Ilan Levin, mysteriously resigned in May 2018. Jaglom has been holding the reins of the organization for 1.5 years in an interim capacity, suggesting that Levin’s resignation left the company abruptly, leaving Stratasys with a long executive search.
Now it appears that lengthy executive search has been completed with the announcement that Yoav Zeif has been appointed as the permanent CEO of Stratasys.
I’m always very curious about the background of new CEOs, as they are usually chosen very carefully by the board of directors, and in particular exhibit the characteristics the board believes are required for the next stages in a company’s evolution.
With that in mind, who is Yoav Zeif?
According to Stratasys:
”Zeif brings broad, global experience in industry transformation to Stratasys, having served in senior leadership roles for both public and private multi-billion-dollar corporations, leading worldwide operations across industries and professional domains. Zeif was President of the Americas Division, Head of Product Offering and Chief Commercial Officer at Netafim, the world’s largest micro-irrigation company, from 2013 to 2018.
Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President of Products and Marketing at Makhteshim (now Adama Ltd.), a global crop-protection company, where he managed the entire portfolio of products and all global commercial relationships. Since 2018, Zeif has been a partner in the New York office of McKinsey & Company. Zeif obtained an Executive MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in International Economics from Bar-Ilan University.”
Stratasys Culture Change?
It’s hard to say what direction Zeif will take Stratasys, as much of his experience seems to be at manufacturing and service firms quite distant from 3D printing. However, given that he’s been a partner at McKinsey for many years, he likely will bring some of that consulting firm’s culture into Stratasys. According to Wikipedia:
“Many of McKinsey’s alumni become CEOs of major corporations or hold important government positions. In doing so, they influence the other organization with McKinsey’s values and culture.”
“A 1993 profile story in Fortune magazine said McKinsey & Company was ‘the most well-known, most secretive, most high-priced, most prestigious, most consistently successful, most envied, most trusted, most disliked management consulting firm on earth’. According to BusinessWeek the firm is ‘ridiculed, reviled, or revered depending on one’s perspective’.
McKinsey’s culture has often been compared to religion, because of the influence, loyalty and zeal of its members. Fortune magazine said partners talk to each other with ‘a sense of personal affection and admiration’. An article in The News Observer said McKinsey’s internal culture was ‘collegiate and ruthlessly competitive’ and has been described as arrogant. The Wall Street Journal said McKinsey is seen as ‘elite, loyal and secretive’. According to Reuters, it has a ‘button-down culture’ focused on ‘playing by the rules’. According to BusinessWeek, some consultants say the firm has strayed from its original values as it increased in size. The Guardian said at McKinsey ‘hours are long, expectations high and failure not acceptable’.”
If these are the qualities that Stratasys’ board of directors are seeking, times could be extremely interesting at Stratasys. It seems that Stratasys’ board is seeking a very serious and robust approach for the next few years.
Stratasys Mergers and Acquisitions?
McKinsey is also known for their acumen in regards to corporate mergers and acquisitions. If that’s what Stratasys is looking for, then we could see big changes in 3D printing in the years ahead.