Changes at the Top in Two 3D Printing Companies Will Spur New Ventures

Changes at Arcam and BASF

There’s been announcements of executive changes at a couple of notable 3D printing companies. 

First the specifics. 

Arcam, now a “GE Additive Company”, announced the departure of CEO Magnus René and CFO Johan Brandt.

You may recall that Arcam was acquired by GE about year ago, and since that time has been part of GE’s rapidly expanding 3D printing envelope, which also includes Concept Laser. GE actually purchased TWO 3D printer manufacturers at about the same time, and just missed on a third. 

You may think it’s not surprising these two key roles are detaching from Arcam, as you might think GE would probably prefer their own folks in charge. And you’d be right. From their press release: 

Magnus René has been CEO of Arcam since 2001 and Johan Brandt has been CFO of the Company since 2012. Magnus René has a notice period of 6 months and will remain in his position until a new CEO is appointed or at the latest until June 3, 2018. Johan Brandt has a notice period of 3 months and will remain in his position until a new CFO is appointed or at the latest until April 30, 2018. 

It seems a bit unusual for executives to remain in position for so long in a non-retirement move. This suggests to me that behind the scenes GE is actually running things and these two roles are not as important as they once were. 

It’s likely we may see something similar happen at Concept Laser within GE additive in the future, as GE no doubt wants to consolidate their operations into a single, smooth running division. 

That’s not all. BASF also announced an executive move. From their press release:

Commercial Director Dirk Simon has been guiding he 3D printing activities at BASF for the last 5 years. He has supervised our directions, founded our application technology center in Heidelberg, formed a strong business development team, and successfully promoted BASF as a serious player in the world of additive manufacturing. As an advocator for open business models and co-innovation by committed partners he has been instrumental for creating the unexpected. 


He informed us to take on a leading role in a smaller company within the 3D printing industry.

BASF has been a fascinating company to observe during the past year, as it has emerged as one of the key chemical leaders within the 3D printing industry. At FormNext we saw their enormous exhibit contain filaments, powders, pellets and resins, all possible 3D printing materials. 

But now one of their execs is apparently off to work on a new venture. This scenario plays out often, and in particular when there are acquisitions or other corporate changes. These tend to shake out staff, who inevitably land somewhere else. 

While it’s not stated, the two from Arcam are most likely going to end up with other 3D printing companies in the near future. 

Why is this important? It’s because you have highly experienced people moving, potentially, to smaller startups who in almost every case can hugely benefit from the wealth of knowledge, process and networking of the senior folks. Wherever they land, the new companies will surely benefit. 

Companies are made of people, and if they are scattered, they reform into new ventures and continue, and they’re always a bit wiser. 

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