Makerbot CEO Bre Pettis Will Move To Create Innovation Lab Using Stratasys Tools

Bre Pettis, CEO of Makerbot, is stepping down to create a co-branded Stratasys/Makerbot “innovation lab” where he will use 3D printers to work with artists, designers, and makers. Makerbot President Jenny Lawton will move into the CEO position and Pettis will be on the Makerbot board of directors.

Wrote Stratasys CEO David Reis:

Stratasys and MakerBot are excited to announce some management changes at MakerBot that will take effect in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2014 and into January 2015. Most notably, Bre Pettis will be transitioning from the day-to-day activities of management to a position with Stratasys where he will be able to influence and direct the vision of MakerBot and Stratasys; he will also be a member of the MakerBot Board of Directors. Jenny Lawton, president of MakerBot, will be promoted to the role of CEO of MakerBot; Frank Alfano is being moved from chief revenue officer to president. Aric Jennings, chief operations officer for MakerBot, will also transition into the international role of vice president of global manufacturing for Stratasys. We are excited about these promotions and pleased to continue the positive momentum that Sratasys and MakerBot have experienced and achieved.

The news, originally broken after received a leaked internal email, comes as a bit of a surprise. Pettis has long been the visible face of Makerbot worldwide and was instrumental in its move from little startup to 3D printing behemoth. Now, however, he is returning to his roots.

The planned workshop will allow him to control a small skunkworks where future Stratasys and Makerbot products will be built. The team will also work with designers to build and give away or sell 3D printed models. The most recent example of this, their Zee action figure, is just the first of their upcoming projects.