10 Things You Didn’t Know about Andrew Anagnost

If you work with computer-aided design (CAD) software, you have probably used an Autodesk product. Autodesk is the current leading provider of CAD software, with billions of dollars in revenue each year. They are headed by Andrew Anagnost, who was appointed to the position of CEO last June. Anagnost has worked at Autodesk since 1997, and has found himself in several marketing, engineering, and executive roles over the years. For example, he was responsible for managing the team that wrote Autodesk Inventor. This product made over $500 million under the direction of Anagnost.

Plus, he is responsible for the current restructuring of Autodesk to a software-as-a-service solutions provider using a subscription-based model rather than a one-time payment. Though Andrew Anagnost has found a lot of success during his time at Autodesk, you may not know a whole lot about the CEO. He’s worth reading a little more about, as he has a lot of interesting views on the world. If you care to learn a few things about Autodesk’s chief executive, please read on to hear about Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Andrew Anagnost.

He Holds Three Degrees

He may be in an executive position now, but Andrew Anagnost started off as an engineer. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from California State, as well as a Masters of Science in Engineering and a Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering and Computer Science from Stanford. These impressive credentials let him have a personal connection with the CAD programs from Autodesk, as he has probably used these in a practical role before.

He Worked for NASA

The accomplished engineer received an opportunity for a National Research Council fellowship at the NASA Ames Research Center. He took it almost immediately, and began applying his skills in a practical manner at the United States’ space organization. This enabled him to gain a little hands-on engineering experience, putting him in an optimal position to run the CAD company.

He’s Passionate about Mechanics

One of the biggest things on the Autodesk CEO’s mind right now is push-button engineering. This concept basically boils down to this: an engineer designs an object, perhaps even a very complicated 3D model. With only a single push of a button, several factory machines will work in tandem to create the requested part. It might sound like science fiction, but Andrew Anagnost believes that we will see automated factories like this within five years.

He Wasn’t Aiming for CEO

When former CEO Carl Bass resigned from Autodesk, Andrew Anagnost noticed that the CEO search wasn’t going very well. He realized that someone had to step up, or an outsider would get control of the company – and that would be devastating to their long-term plans. So, he decided to try to become CEO to ensure that the company stays on one page and continues on the path they’re on.

He Has a Hands-On Leadership Style

Andrew Anagnost has promised to delve deep into the issues with his team. He will give special attention to construction, push-button manufacturing, and sales force/customer issues. He has decided to take this direct method of management in order to live up to Carl Bass’ legacy (he managed in a similar style).

He is a Techno-Optimist

A self-described techno-optimist, Andrew Anagnost believes that jobs will surpass the “valley of death”. In other words, as machines begin to take over manufacturing jobs there will be a lag in the amount of jobs available to human workers. However, more and more jobs available to humans should start to spring up as the technology ages.

He Knows Commercialization of Space is Imminent

In an article written by Anagnost, he outlines four major ways that space will become commercialized in the near future. He mentions space mining, which will feed industries on Earth while being less disruptive to the planet. Space-based 3D printing is another option, as the printer will make use of the surroundings to gain material (e.g. moon rocks). Robots will become satellite mechanics, fixing things that humans cannot reach. And finally, brand new supply chains will emerge that could be capitalized on by a budding entrepreneur.

He Believes in Transparency

At a tech conference, he gave his opinion on the selling of consumer data by entities such as Google and Facebook. He believes that there is not enough transparency here, and that Google and Facebook will make more selling data than they will providing good services. Plus, the lack of regulations effectively allows these companies to turn their customers into their product – that is, ad data. Selling ads to the highest bidder is another problem, such as in the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

He Finds Ideas Incredibly Valuable

Anagnost has said that one’s ideas and intellectual assets are the most valuable things they will ever have. Therefore, he also places a high priority on factual information being the center of any released work. He also shared this idea with “students” of the industry at Autodesk University 2017.

Modern Tech Still Awes Him

The CEO of Autodesk once said that “we have come from science-fiction to science-facts”. So many devices previously thought impossible (or at least very improbable) are now a part of day-to-day life. However, Anagnost is careful to mention that one should never lose their vision of the future. After all, every change needs an idea, and every idea comes with a vision of a better world. He also states that the tools of the future are here, just waiting to be used.


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