PEORIA, Ill., Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a combined 65 years of outstanding service and contributions to the company, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) announced today that Group Presidents Rich Lavin and Gerard Vittecoq have elected to retire. Lavin is a Caterpillar group president with responsibility for Construction Industries & Growth Markets. Vittecoq is a group president with responsibility for Energy & Power Systems. The company also announced that Caterpillar's Board of Directors has appointed current Group President and CFO Ed Rapp as Lavin's replacement. Brad Halverson will replace Rapp as a group president and CFO and Jim Umpleby has been appointed to replace Vittecoq as group president for Energy & Power Systems. "We will be saying goodbye to fantastic leaders with these retirements, but we have a deep and talented group of Caterpillar executives," said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman. "I am confident our new leaders will build on the work of their predecessors as we move toward our 2015 goals and beyond." Rich Lavin Retirement"Rich has provided remarkable leadership and strategic vision for Caterpillar and will leave an indelible legacy behind for the work he has done to grow our operations and presence in key developing markets, particularly in Asia," Oberhelman said. "I want to extend well deserved congratulations to Rich for all he has done for our business and wish him a long and happy retirement," Oberhelman added. Lavin joined Caterpillar in 1984 as an attorney in what is now the Law and Public Policy Division. He was appointed to Caterpillar's executive office in 2007 and moved to Hong Kong, where he was the first Caterpillar executive officer to reside and work in Asia. Lavin's work in this role has had a significant impact on enhancing the company's brand and reputation in this region. Before becoming a group president, he was vice president of manufacturing operations for the Asia Pacific Division, serving as chairman of Shin Caterpillar Mitsubishi Ltd. (SCM)—now Caterpillar Japan Ltd. (CJL)—and chairman of Caterpillar ( China) Investment Co., Ltd. Lavin was named a Caterpillar vice president in 2001, serving as Human Services Division vice president until 2004 when he was named vice president with responsibility for Caterpillar's Asia Pacific Manufacturing Operations. During his career, Lavin held senior executive and leadership positions in Hong Kong; Beijing, China; Bangalore, India and Tokyo, Japan. Previously, he was product manager in the Track-Type Tractors Division, director of corporate human relations and director of compensation and benefits. Lavin has a bachelor's degree from Western Illinois University and law degrees from Creighton University and Georgetown University. He also completed a Brookings Institute management program and a Carnegie Mellon executive development program. In November 2009, he was appointed to the board of directors of USG Corporation, a leading building products company. He is also a member of the board of directors of the U.S. China Business Council, U.S. India Business Council and the U.S. Korea Business Council. He is a member of The Conference Board and The Chicago Council of Global Affairs. He serves on the International Advisory Council of Guanghua School of Management at Peking University and the Board of Trustees at Bradley University. In 2010, he was appointed to serve on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC), which provides private sector input to the leaders of 21 economies comprising the APEC. Gerard Vittecoq Retirement"Over the course of his more than 37 years with Caterpillar, Gerard has built a reputation for mentoring and developing leaders from his home base in Geneva, Switzerland," Oberhelman said. "Gerard was instrumental in providing executive leadership as we focused on improving product quality and a culture of safety by driving the integration of the Caterpillar Production System around the world. More recently, his leadership and guidance has been critical, as Caterpillar has significantly expanded its energy and power systems business with the key acquisitions of Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) and gas engine manufacturing MWM Holding GmbH (MWM). These acquisitions have expanded Caterpillar's strategic businesses, and Gerard will be remembered for the leadership he provided as these businesses were added to Caterpillar," Oberhelman added. Vittecoq was appointed to Caterpillar's executive office in 2003. He joined Caterpillar in 1975, holding various accounting and finance positions during his first six years with the company. In 1982, he was appointed finance representative and later assistant manager at Caterpillar Overseas S.A. (COSA). In 1985, he became comptroller for COSA. Vittecoq was appointed director of COSA strategy and planning in 1990. In 1995, he was promoted to managing director of Caterpillar France S.A. In 1998, Vittecoq became managing director of Caterpillar Belgium S.A. In 2001, he was appointed vice president with administrative responsibility for the Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME) Operations Division. Vittecoq has a master's degree from Ecole Superieure of Commerce ( France) and a master's degree in business administration from Laval University ( Canada). He is a certified public accountant (CPA), and he completed the executive program in international management at Columbia University. Vittecoq is a member of the Foundation Board of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), a member of the Evian Group: Free Trade Think Tank, executive member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), member of the senior advisory council of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce and a director of Best Buy—a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services. Ed Rapp Becomes Construction Industries Group PresidentCaterpillar's Board of Directors has appointed current Group President and CFO Ed Rapp as group president with responsibility for Construction Industries, replacing Lavin. As part of this transition, the Hong Kong-based headquarters office for Caterpillar's Construction Industries group will relocate to Singapore, where Rapp will be based in his new role effective January 1, 2013. "As we weighed the complexity of this role across the range of products and geographies and looked at the critical areas of responsibility for this position, it was clear that Ed was the best person for this position," Oberhelman said. "Ed brings proven executive-level leadership and demonstrated success to this position.He will provide focus and strategic vision as we work toward our market leadership goals for China and other key growth markets." Rapp has been a member of Caterpillar's executive office since 2007. He was named a Caterpillar vice president in 2000, serving as the head of the EAME Marketing Division until 2004 when he was named vice president with responsibility for the Building Construction Products Division.