Caterpillar says two more executives will retire
* News comes day after two of five group presidents retired
* Other executives to be moved to new positions
* Wall Street shrugs at news; shares up slightly
By Ernest Scheyder
Oct 12 (Reuters) - Two vice presidents at Caterpillar Inc
announced their retirements on Friday, the second round of departures from the world's largest construction equipment maker in as many days as sales continue to lag in key growth markets.
The retirements of four senior executives at nearly the same time, as well as the shuffling of five other executives to different positions, come less than a month after Chief Executive Doug Oberhelman cut Caterpillar's 2015 earnings forecast, citing slumping demand and rising commodity prices.
Wall Street appeared to take the news in stride, with analysts voicing confidence in the ability of Oberhelman and the board of directors to managing talent effectively.
Caterpillar shares were up four cents to $82.89 in Friday midday trading.
"This is a company that has shown through internal promotions in the past that they consider their employees one of their biggest assets," said Morningstar analyst Adam Fleck. "While today's retirements are close in time to the 2015 announcement and yesterday's retirement news, I think Wall Street will largely shrug it off as being coincidental."
Bill Springer, 61, head of a Caterpillar division that sells products for paving and forestry customers, will retire next February, the company said.
Gary Stampanato, 56, head of the company's excavation division, will also retire next February.
Caterpillar has a mandatory retirement age of 65.
In a six-page statement outlining replacements for both men, as well as other executive shuffles, Caterpillar stressed it has an adequate talent bench from which to draw for the foreseeable future.
Caterpillar's 28 vice presidents report to five group presidents, each with control over a different part of the company. The five, in turn, report to Oberhelman.
Springer and Stampanato's retirements come the day after two of Caterpillar's group vice presidents announced their own retirements.
"Relatively speaking there are maybe more moves here than typical, but they're not extraordinary or unusual," Caterpillar spokesman Jim Dugan said. "We'll have a very orderly and smooth transition."
The Peoria, Illinois-based company also named Qihua Chen the head of China operations, a newly created position that signals how focused the company is on boosting weak sales there.
Oberhelman said last month that he intends to "win in China."
Demand for Caterpillar's front-end loaders and excavators has slipped in China, and the company has begun exporting Chinese-made machinery to Africa and the Middle East, executives told Reuters in August.
Caterpillar is set to report quarterly earnings on Oct. 22.
(Reporting By Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
Keywords: CATERPILLAR RETIREMENTS/