Has Autodesk ever had a CEO with neck tattoos? Carol Bartz? Carl Bass? Who really knows, but it should be a qualification.

Andrew Anagnost was at the top of the list to become the next CEO of Autodesk. Really, he was at the top, alphabetically his name was at the top of the list. The only way he could be more at the top of the list is if ‘Aardvark’ was in his name… which it may be – I’m thinking high school/college nickname, Andrew ‘Aardvark’ Anagnost. Catchy, actually.

Andrew is the new CEO of Autodesk. Last February, Carl Bass stepped down at CEO of Autodesk to play with robots. Both Andrew Anagnost and Amar Hanspal were named as interim co-CEO at the time, so the Autodesk internal cage match only lasted, 9, carry the two… 4 months.

In his letter to employees, he writes:

“I once dreamt of land made of spaghetti…” wait, that’s the text to my wife about dinner. Andrew writes,

“I am honored to lead this amazing company and to serve as your CEO. For 20 years, I’ve watched Autodesk innovate and grow into the company it is today and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together. But our success isn’t based on a single product, business strategy, or sales win—it’s a result of the collective efforts of all of you, our diverse and global team. With your passion, ideas, and skills, we are ready to grow in incredible new ways.”

Carl backed up the decision saying,

“I have worked closely with Andrew over the past 20 years, and I know he will be a great leader for Autodesk,” said Bass, Autodesk board director. “His contributions and dedication to the company, our employees, and customers have been immeasurable. I look forward to working with him from my seat on the board and can’t wait to see where he takes Autodesk in the future.”

I’m pretty sure you could replace “working with him” to “watching his ass like a hawk”. Andrew continued his letter announcing the news that Amar would be leaving after his 30 years of service to Autodesk, with Scott Reese taking lead for the Product Development Group and Lisa Campbell at the head of Business Strategy & Marketing.

On the future of Autodesk, Andrews says, “The next era of Autodesk is not defined by product or business innovation—but in their combination.” In the video to employees, he continues by saying, “We have so many exciting new opportunities. We’re going to bring the BIM model to the construction site. We’re going to create processes that make push button manufacturing possible, and we’re going to let anyone create amazing movies and amazing games.”

I’ve not had the honor of meeting Andrew just yet so looking forward to your thoughts on what this means for the direction of Autodesk, his ideas for the future, and if you think it’s a good move for Autodesk. All I know is he would look dope with neck tattoos. Oh, and I hope he’s up for having drinks in a seedy Las Vegas casino bar. AU2017 is right around the corner.


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.