Douglas R. Oberhelman

Douglas R. Oberhelman (born February 25, 1953)[6] is an American businessman. He is the former CEO and Executive Chairman of Caterpillar Inc. in Peoria, Illinois.

Douglas R. Oberhelman
Douglas R. Oberhelman (CEO).jpg
BornFebruary 25, 1953
Alma materMillikin University (1975)
OccupationBusiness Executive
Years active1975 (1975)–present[1][2]
EmployerCaterpillar Inc.
Home townWoodstock, Illinois[1]
TitleFormer Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman
PredecessorJames W. Owens
SuccessorJim Umpleby
Board member ofExxon Mobil Corporation[3]
The Nature Conservancy Illinois Chapter
Association of Equipment Manufacturers
National Association of Manufacturers
Manufacturing Institute
Wetlands America Trust
Ameren (former)
Easter Seals (former chairman)
Millikin University (former chairman)
South Side Bank (former)[2]
Spouse(s)Diane Cullinan[4][1][5]


Early lifeEdit

Oberhelman was raised in Woodstock, Illinois, where his father was a John Deere salesman.[1] His family originates from Westphalia, Germany.[7] Oberhelman attended Millikin University, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in 1975.


Oberhelman joined Caterpillar shortly after his college graduation in 1975.[1][2] He became a Caterpillar Vice President in 1995, serving as Chief Financial Officer from 1995 to 1998.[2][8] He succeeded Jim Owens as CEO on July 1, 2010 and as Executive Chairman of the Board on November 1, 2010.[2][8]

He sat on the board of Ameren until April 27, 2010.[9] He served as Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of The Business Council in 2013 and 2014.[10][11]

In September 2009, he was elected to the Board of Directors of World Resources Institute.[12][13]

Personal lifeEdit

His wife, Diane Oberhelman, is chairwoman of Cullinan Properties Ltd.[4][5]

In 2011 Oberhelman earned an income (including options, bonus etc.) of $16.9 million, a sixty percent increase from his earnings the previous year.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Doug Oberhelman: Champion of Sustainability". InterBusiness Issues. Peoria, Illinois: Central Illinois Business Publishers, Inc. September 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Douglas R. Oberhelman". Peoria, Illinois: Caterpillar Inc. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2010-07-14.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Doug Oberhelman Elected to ExxonMobil Board" (Press release). May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c McDonald, Karen (2010-09-05). "Oberhelmans out to make Laura Bush feel at home". Peoria, Illinois: GateHouse Media. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  5. ^ a b Gordon, Paul (2009-10-23). "Caterpillar selects Oberhelman as next CEO". Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  6. ^ "Birthdatabase Index".
  7. ^ Slider, Mark. "Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar Inc. Chairman and CEO, to be honored as 2015 Distinguished German-American of the Year". German Life. Archived from the original on 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  8. ^ a b "Caterpillar Outlines Leadership Succession Plan; Board Names Doug Oberhelman Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – Elect" (PDF) (Press release). Peoria, Illinois: Caterpillar Inc. 2009-10-22. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
  9. ^ "Douglas R. Oberhelman". 2010-07-01. Archived from the original on July 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-02. As previously announced, Mr. Oberhelman will not stand for re-election to the Ameren board and will step down as a director effective April 27, 2010.
  10. ^ Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris Elected Chairman, The Business Council Archived 2012-12-09 at,, October 19, 2012
  11. ^ Press Release: The Dow Chemical Company, Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris Elected Chairman, The Business Council, Yahoo!, October 19, 2012
  12. ^ World Resources Institute Biosketch of Douglas R. Oberhelman. Accessed March 27, 2012.
  13. ^ Caterpillar President, Experts in Clean Tech & Energy Markets Named Directors at WRI Archived 2012-04-07 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed March 27, 2012.
  14. ^ "Chicago Tribune; April 11, 2012". April 11, 2012.

External linksEdit