MakerBot CEO steps down to head Stratasys 'Innovation Workshop'

MakerBot co-founder and CEO Bre Pettis is stepping down for new responsibilities with parent company Stratasys.

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Credit: MakerBot

MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis is stepping down as CEO of the company he co-founded in order to run the new "Innovation Workshop" at Stratasys.

MakerBot president Jenny Lawton will take over as chief executive, while Pettis will shift completely from the 3D printer manufacturer in order to work for MakerBot's parent company, Stratasys. Stratasys plans to give Pettis the responsibility of running the firm's new "Innovation Workshop," although few details have been released on his new role. 

The changes are due to take place between the third and fourth quarter of 2014, potentially leading in to next year. In addition to the CEO's change of role, Frank Alfano is being moved from MakerBot chief revenue officer to president, and MakerBot's chief operations officer Aric Jennings will become vice president of global manufacturing for Stratasys.

Stratasys took over MakerBot in early 2013  for over $400 million. While Stratasys accounts for clients including NASA, BMW and Ducati, MakerBot proved to be a valuable resource by giving Stratasys access to the firm's community of designers, consumer-based 3D printers, prosumer ecosystem and tools.

MakerBot was founded in 2009 through angel investment, with the mission of making 3D printers affordable for the general public. The firm offers a range of 3D printers to this end, ranging in price from just over $1,000 to $7,000.

In a statement, Stratasys CEO David Reis said:

"Bre Pettis will be transitioning from the day-to-day activities of management to a position with Stratasys where he will be able to influence and direct the vision of MakerBot and Stratasys; he will also be a member of the MakerBot Board of Directors."

Few details have been released concerning the Innovation Workshop, or where it will be based -- while MakerBot is hosted by New York, Stratasys has headquarters in both the US and Israel.

Read on: In the world of innovation