Autodesk now has only one CEO

The speculation is over. Autodesk no longer has Schrödinger’s CEO. Elon Musk has missed out, the winner is…

Andrew “Baked Beans” Anagnost!

Here’s the press release and here’s a letter from Andrew.

The other obvious internal candidate, Amar Hanspal, has decided to leave the company. Resigned on the spot, so I’m told. As the financial rewards for winning the CEO race are akin to winning the lottery, coming second must have been a major disappointment to product guy Amar, who I first met when he was helping to drive the hugely successful Release 14 program. Best wishes to Amar for the future and congratulations to Andrew.

In this welcome video, Andrew talks a lot about products; he seems to be trying to shake off the “marketing guy” image.

Unsurprisingly, he makes it clear that he’s still very keen on the troubled cloud and subscription strategies he has been instrumental in pushing within Autodesk. Expect no respite there, then.

Andrew wants to hear from you, though:

And to our partners and our customers, I’m looking forward to listening to all of you as well, and understanding what you love and what you would like to improve about Autodesk.

I know Andrew reads this blog, so go ahead and let him know what you love and what you would like to improve.


  1. I don’t know what’s left to be said that he, along with the board, isn’t already trying to ignore.

    We understand that you want the most profit, but riding a software tool, which is entrenched in our industry, into the ground to squeeze the last drop from it is NOT the globally responsible way.

    Autodesk affects industry with their policies. They’re aware of this, as the board seems to have adopted a draconian stance of flexing that muscle in the name of some long term dystopian vision of even greater quarterly profits (the pitfall of public companies).

    When they decide to forcefully “migrate” customers from, say, 3DS MAX, to Maya, it hurts production of the art and games the world cherishes. The apparent insensitivity to this disillusions me to the point I will actively search for and promote software from another company, even if it isn’t as advanced at this point. Autodesk was there at one point. Someone else can pick up that torch, in spite of Autodesk’s delusions of grandeur.

    They’re leaving a door wide open for it.

  2. Hello Andrew. Are you going to save the company?

    I’m your average customer. Thirty-one years of ACAD, eighteen years of beta, fourteen years of MDT, ’bout twenty years of volunteer support – from CIS till the abandonment of NNTP, and ten years in ADN. I was a happy recipient of wonderful and exciting new tools and techniques until the great stagnation hit about eight years ago. Not a huge problem as I have permanent licenses. What bad things could possibly occur?

    Well, Siemens has NX and wants to chat. Inventor’s lackluster everything ended my writing for Autodesk Press. I can no longer recommend Autodesk products to anybody since the company appears doomed.

    As an active average customer – I don’t Cloud. I don’t rent. None of my workstations are, or will ever be online. What real-world incentives are, or will be, available to keep me as a customer? Are the v2016 releases the end of our partnership? Notice how I politely didn’t harp on dissatisfaction and disappointments. – Bill Townsend

    Thank you Steve.

  3. On Sep 11, 2015, Mr. Anagnost said “we don’t have plans to force customers to adopt subscription” & “maintaining two different business models is costly, but retaining loyal customers is worth it to us. ”

    So far, both of these statements have been proven false.

    This is why we can’t put too much faith in things currently being said at Autodesk.


  4. Baked beans still going in the wrong direction could really backfire….

  5. Autodesk – supply a full release each year not a half baked beans version.

    Your failing your customers and holding them to ransom with your new forced licensing – get your head out of the cloud

    Don’t trust Andrew Anagnost, – bring back Carl Bass

    • Chris Schildmeier

      Eh, Bass was very much about this forced licensing. Whether he was the director, or the salesman, he was pushing hard for rental.

  6. Easy…if both your initials are not A, you will not be chosen.
    The board could really have had fun and named them Co-CEO’s and had them split the salary. I’m sure it would have been enough.

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