As the year 2017 began, simulation software maker ANSYS announced James E. Cashman, the company’s CEO since 2000, is ready to move on. On the first day of this year, Cashman officially became the chairman of the board of directors. Dr. Ajei S. Gopal, who has been a member of the ANSYS Board since 2011, is succeeding Cashman as ANSYS’ new president and CEO.
Dr. Gopal’s career includes executive roles in Symantec, HP, CA Technologies, and IBM. He has also held leadership positions at startups. Most notably, he cofounded ReefEdge Networks; and is an operating partner of Silver Lake.
In ANSYS’ announcement of his appointment, Gopal says, “With an accelerating pace of innovation, ANSYS is on an exciting growth trajectory as it executes on its long-term plans. Jim [Cashman]’s vision and tremendous leadership have set a high bar, and I am committed to building on our standard of excellence and pushing the boundaries of innovation to help customers solve their most complex design challenges.”
His first order of business? He plans to listen–a lot. “I had the good fortune to be on ANSYS’ board for a number of years,” he says. “But I only saw so much of the business as a board member. As an operating executive, I now see a lot more. I’ve been working closely with Jim and the ANSYS team here, and talking and listening to our customers, partners, and R&D people. In the process, I come to appreciate how truly amazing the simulation technology is.”
ANSYS customers include large aerospace and automotive manufacturers, whose relationship with the company goes back a long way. “I know how much our customers rely on us. We have a responsibility to provide the kind of services and products that they expect,” says Gopal.
Over the last four or five years, simulation software market has seen significant changes, reflected in the industry’s slow but steady adoption of cloud-hosted solutions and on-demand sales models. Gopal expects the market will see “a more dynamic change–perhaps more so than before.” The transformation will likely accelerate “when digital technologies are integrated with the physical products,” he predicts.
Many emerging trends–IoT, additive manufacturing, and digital twins, to name but a few–are part of “the revolution that changes how we design, manufacture, and manage a product through its lifecycle,” Gopal points out. “I believe simulation will play a fundamentally important role in this massive transformation, because the only way to decrease your design cycle is by doing simulation early in the design process.”
For ANSYS’s announcement of Dr. Gopal’s appointment, read the press release here.