It’s an honor to talk with you for the first time as the CEO of Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. I know you all join me in wishing Jeff Ray the best as he begins his new position within Dassault Systèmes. I am grateful to Jeff for all that he has taught me over the years, and I look forward to working with him in the future.
To those of you I haven’t met, here’s some quick background. Until yesterday, I was executive vice president of global sales, a position I’ve held since 2007. I first joined SolidWorks in 1997 as regional sales manager for Western Europe and Scandinavia. I was promoted to country manager for Western Europe in 1999, and vice president of North American sales in 2004.
Before coming to SolidWorks, I attended the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers in Paris, France, where I graduated with a degree in engineering. I began my career at IBM France, and was a branch sales manager for Computervision France. I also did my military service as an officer in the French navy just after college.
I have been dedicated to design and engineering as long as I can remember, going back to my childhood. One of the first things I ever designed and built at the age of 13—a remote-control boat with full wood hull and electric drive—still works (see my children driving it below)!
Over the last thirteen years, I have worked with hundreds of SolidWorks customers, resellers and partners. I understand the challenges our customers face every day, and my plan is to continue to run Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks the way we always have–by doing what we believe is best for our customers and community.
In the next few months, I hope to spend as much time as possible with our internal teams, our resellers, our partners, and especially our customers, to better understand the challenges faced by engineers and designers globally, and continue the work Jeff and the team have been doing all along–focusing on ways to create the best tools possible so our customers can continue to focus on innovation.
Despite all that we have achieved since Jon Hirschtick and the founders developed the first version of SolidWorks in 1993, we have only just begun. Our trademark simplicity opens up the market to a number of design professionals. For example, the benefits of simulation are not limited to specialists, and, even small companies without IT resources can use collaboration and file-sharing to compete with larger organizations.
I am also excited about the technology we’re building with our next-generation platform. The benefits are clear–access from anywhere and with no restrictions on product versions or platforms. Online delivery mechanisms mean that we can provide our products and services in new ways, and give customers the power to work how they want, where they want. In effect, we’ll have three platforms–desktop, mobile, and online. New offerings will be rolled out as they are available but in tandem with existing applications so that customers can choose the option that is best suited to their needs.
This is an exciting time for SolidWorks and our customers. I look forward to talking and working with you in the future, and hope to meet many of you later this month at SolidWorks World 2011 in San Antonio. If there are any questions you might have for me, please leave a comment below, and I will do my best to reply.