Caterpillar Finance Chief Brad Halverson to Retire

Caterpillar Inc.'s chief financial officer Brad Halverson, who oversaw the company's finances through a period of unprecedented downturn, will retire early next year, the heavy-machinery manufacturer said Tuesday.

The company said it is launching an external search to find his successor.

Mr. Halverson, who became finance chief in 2013, said in prepared remarks that he is looking forward to spending more time with his family.

Mr. Halverson, 56 years old, started at Caterpillar in 1988 as an accountant before moving up the ranks and spending several years working for the company in Europe.

He assumed the role of CFO just as the company entered a yearslong slump as demand for its trucks and machinery plummeted. The company has since laid off thousands of workers in an effort to cut costs.

"The company undertook significant restructuring in response to the downturn, and Brad played a critical role in that process, helping the company maintain a strong balance sheet and good cash flow," said Caterpillar Chief Executive Jim Umpleby in prepared remarks.

In recent months, Caterpillar has beat estimates and grown sales in what its executives characterize as the beginning of a recovery.

In addition to cutting head count, Mr. Umpleby, who became CEO in January, has dealt with working to shrink the company's manufacturing footprint and with a raid by federal agents at the company's Peoria, Ill. headquarters. That investigation, about whether the company is adhering to U.S. export rules, is still ongoing.

Shares in Caterpillar, up 23% this year, were down 1.6% in premarket trading on light volume.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 01, 2017 08:33 ET (12:33 GMT)