Caterpillar's mining VP steps down

Chris Curfman, Caterpillar's vice president with responsibility for the Mining Sales & Support Division, will retire at the end of this year.

Last week Caterpillar announced it was eliminating 10,000 jobs over three years due to weakness in the sectors the company serves.

"Chris leaves a lasting, customer-focused legacy at Caterpillar that is unrivaled and likely to be unmatched," said Ed Rapp, Caterpillar group president with responsibility for Resource Industries, in a news release.

"Chris built incredibly close customer relationships and has been critical to our success in the mining industry. Under Chris' leadership we have established a global leadership position."

As a young man, prior to joining Caterpillar, Curfman operated Caterpillar construction machinery. He then worked for several years as a sales coordinator for Wallace Machinery, a Cat dealer in California, before a 15-year career at Deere & Company.  Curfman joined Caterpillar in 1994, serving as the rental and used equipment manager for North America. In 1999, Curfman became the managing director of Caterpillar of Australia Ltd., based in Melbourne. In 2001, he became managing director of marketing for Caterpillar's Asia Pacific Division at its headquarters in Singapore. In 2004, Curfman became vice president of the Global Mining Division.

"While Chris is primarily known for his role in leading our mining business, he also laid the foundation for our entry into rental services and integrated our sales and marketing organization during his time in Asia. With his retirement from Caterpillar, it will mark the end of a remarkable run of more than 60 years of values-based Curfman leadership at the company, as Chris' father was a long-time and well respected leader with Caterpillar until his retirement in 1990 after more than 40 years with the company," Rapp added.

[Editor's note: with text from Caterpillar's news release.]