Jenny Lawton, who took the helm of 3D printer company Makerbot in September, is out as CEO. Jonathan Jaglom, who is currently the general manager of Stratasys Asia Pacific Japan, will replace her in a transition effective March 1.Lawton became acting CEO of Makerbot after the Brooklyn-based company's co-founder Bre Pettis stepped down last fall to take over Stratasys' Innovation Workshop.
The executive shuffle is being portrayed as a promotion for Lawton, as she will move to Makerbot's parent company Stratasys as VP of special projects, reporting directly to Stratasys CEO David Reis. Given the fact that Lawton's title has always been that of "acting CEO," it's likely that her role as Makerbot's chief was temporary from the start.
As for Jaglom, he began his 3D printing career with Objet in 2005 and has spent the last two years reporting directly to Reis in his role as GM of Stratasys Asia Pacific Japan.
"We see these organizational moves as part of the continued scaling and integration of MakerBot," Reis said in a statement. "Jonathan Jaglom is bringing 10 years of experience as a key contributor to the outstanding performance and scaling of operations at Objet and then Stratasys and we believe he will be well-positioned to help MakerBot scale both operations and revenues."
Stratasys acquired MakerBot in early 2013 for more than $400 million, givng the Israel-based technology company access to Makerbot's community of designers and consumer-focused 3D printers. Before the deal, Stratasys dealt more in the arena of rapid prototyping, with customers including NASA, BMW and Ducati.
While the relationship has been generally positive for both companies, the Makerbot brand has suffered some missteps in the minds of hobbyists, due to a claim that the company patented a number of open-sourced 3D printing tools.
Earlier this month, Stratasys released preliminary fiscal year 2014 numbers that were below estimates, resulting in a reduced guidance. In discussing Makerbot, Stratasys said the company was "affected by challenges associated with the introduction and scaling of its new product platform and the Company's rapidly evolving distribution model."