Junior Achievement | Central Illinois Business Hall of Fame

Doug Oberhelman

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Retired CEO & Executive Chairman
Caterpillar Inc.

Doug Oberhelman served as chairman of the board of directors and as chief executive officer (CEO) of Caterpillar Inc. beginning in 2010.  After a 41-year career with Caterpillar, he retired as CEO on December 31, 2016 and as executive chairman on March 31, 2017.

During his tenure as chairman and CEO, Oberhelman led Caterpillar through accelerated business cycles, implementing cost-efficiencies and Lean manufacturing to simplify and improve global manufacturing and operations. He also led the company to renew its focus on customers, and reinforced its dedication to quality, sustainability and innovations critical to the success of Caterpillar employees, customers and dealers.

Oberhelman joined the Caterpillar treasury department in 1975 and worked in or led a wide variety of businesses across the company. He was elected a Caterpillar vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) in 1995; and from 2002 to 2010 was a group president with responsibility for many of Caterpillar’s core businesses. Over the course of his career at Caterpillar he lived in North America, South America and Asia, and travelled extensively throughout the world.

Oberhelman serves on the board of directors of Exxon Mobil Corporation, Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc., and Bombardier Inc.  He is former chair of both the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers. He serves as vice president of the Wetlands America Trust, is a director on the boards of the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation and Intersect Illinois.  He is also chairman of the board of trustees for the Easter Seals Foundation of Central Illinois.  He previously served on the boards of Eli Lilly and Company and Ameren Corporation.

Doug is married to his wife Diane Oberhelman who is the Chairwoman of Cullinan Properties Ltd. and one of Peoria’s most successful, leading developers. Diane is the Founding Partner of Cullinan Properties, based in Peoria, Illinois, with offices in Chicago and St. Louis. Diane founded Cullinan Properties in 1988 after being in the real estate business since 1981. She is also a JA laureate who was inducted into the Junior Achievement Central Illinois Business Hall of Fame in 2006. For years, Doug and Diane have lived on a cozy, rustic farm with horses, chickens and beautiful alfalfa field that is located on the outer edges of Peoria county. They have four grown children: Kathleen Cullinan Brill, Maureen Cullinan Bennett, Alison Cullinan Unkovich, and Allen Cullinan. They also have eleven grandchildren.

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