Autodesk CEO Carl Bass
|Born||May 18, 1957
New York, New York
|Occupation||CEO and President of Autodesk|
Carl Bass is president and chief executive officer of Autodesk, Inc., a maker of professional 3D design software and consumer applications, and was a co-founder of Ithaca Software, which commercialized HOOPS, a 3D graphics system. Bass has been credited with expanding Autodesk beyond its core AutoCAD software through acquisitions and new product developments and transitioning from 2D to 3D model-based design.
Early life and education
Bass was born in New York, New York. His father was a chemist and his mother a New York City schoolteacher. After starting college at Cornell University, Bass took a five-year hiatus to build boats, furniture and sculpture in Seattle and Maine and returned to Cornell, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics in 1983.
In 1981, Bass co-founded a computer graphics company called Flying Moose Systems and Graphics Ltd., which became Ithaca Software in 1986. The company commercialized HOOPS, a 3D graphics system originally developed at Cornell University in the mid 1980s. Bass served as Ithaca Software’s chief technology officer and CEO. He joined Autodesk when the company acquired Ithaca Software in 1993, serving as the chief architect for AutoCAD. In 1995, Bass was forced out by Autodesk’s then president and CEO Carol Bartz, only to be rehired five months later, after top Autodesk engineers said they needed Bass’s software development skills.
Bass left Autodesk in 1999 to launch Buzzsaw, an online service for management of construction projects, where he served as president and CEO. Bass returned to Autodesk when it acquired the company in 2001. Since then, Bass has held a number of high-level positions at Autodesk, including executive vice president and chief strategy officer (2001 to 2002); senior executive vice president of the Design Solutions Group (2002 to 2004); chief operating officer (2004 to 2006); and interim chief financial officer (2008 to 2009).
CEO of Autodesk
During his tenure as CEO, Bass has focused on expanding the company beyond its core AutoCAD software through acquisitions and new product development and transitioning from 2D to 3D design. He has emphasized vertical markets focusing on model-based design, simulation and lifecycle management. Under his direction, Autodesk has introduced consumer-oriented products such as SketchBook, a mobile painting and drawing app with over seven million users as of Nov. 2011. In March 2008, Autodesk was ranked number 25 on Fast Company's list of "The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies."
Bass serves on the Board of Directors of Autodesk and e2Open. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at the Art Center College of Design. He previously served on the board of McAfee and iRise. Bass is a member of the Executive Advisory Boards of Cornell Computing and Information Science and U.C. Berkeley School of Information and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology).
Bass owns a workshop near his home in Berkeley, Calif., where he designs and fabricates objects made from wood, metal and stone. Bass’ projects have included furniture, sculpture and a walk-in wooden rocket ship he built for his children, which is on permanent display at Chabot Science Center.
He is married to Daryl Austern, and they have two children.
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