UPDATE 3-Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby adds chairman role

(Adds more details)

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc said on Thursday Chief Executive Officer Jim Umpleby would take on the additional role of chairman, effective immediately.

Umpleby, a member of the board and CEO since Jan. 1, 2017, is widely credited for pulling the company out of its longest downturn - from 2012 to 2016 - when sales dropped more than 40 percent.

Under his leadership, the company has been focusing on improving operational efficiency - squeezing more production from its factories and buying more of what it needs from outside suppliers on a just-in-time basis.

Caterpillar executives say the new strategy is boosting profitability by allowing it to get the best use out of its existing factories.

Dave Calhoun, who has served as non-executive chairman since last year, will remain on the board as presiding director, the company said.

Calhoun assumed the role after company veteran Doug Oberhelman retired as executive board chairman on March 31, 2017.

The industry bellwether also said on Thursday its November retail sales rose 16 percent worldwide, led by a jump in orders across all geographies, especially in North America and Asia Pacific. (Reporting by Rachit Vats in Bengaluru and Rajesh Kumar Singh in Chicago; Editing by Maju Samuel and Phil Berlowitz)

12/13/2018 16:47

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