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Pro Analysis

Breakingviews: Caterpillar CEO exit looks like preemptive strike

Doug Oberhelman, chief executive officer of Caterpillar Inc.
Bloomberg | Getty Images
Doug Oberhelman, chief executive officer of Caterpillar Inc.

Doug Oberhelman will retire as boss of the $51 billion earth-moving equipment maker next year. Cat will also split the CEO and chairman jobs. It looks like a calculated attempt to get in front of would-be activist investors after bad deals and poor performance damaged credibility.