Autodesk announced that Carl Bass, CEO and president, is stepping down effective Feb. 8. He plans to remain on the company's board and assist with the transition. Autodesk executives Amar Hanspal and Andrew Anagnost will serve as interim co-CEOs.
In a blog post, Bass said he felt comfortable leaving the company where it is today, with its transition to subscription-based business model underway, early cloud momentum, and relative peace with its activist investors. As for what's next, it sounds like he plans to take it easy for a little while before moving on to another professional endeavor.
"I am not leaving to spend more time with my family -- that presumes my family wants to spend more time with me," Bass wrote. "I will, however, be spending more time in my shop with my robots. I also have some other plans and will have more to say on what I'm doing in the next few months."
Bass became Autodesk's CEO in 2006 and has been with the San Francisco, Calif.-based company on and off since 1993, when Autodesk acquired his company Ithaca Software. He briefly left Autodesk two years later, then returned, and left again in 1999 to launch Buzzsaw, a startup Autodesk acquired two years later.
Autodesk insists his departure was in the works for the more than a year, but the timing of the announcement roused some suspicion, as Bass has been an outspoken critic of newly minted US President Donald Trump.
In an interview Feb. 6 with Pando, Bass described Trump as "acting somewhere between a dictator and a small business owner" with "no regard for the institution" or system of checks and balances.
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