In Memory: Former Siemens PLM CEO, Chuck Grindstaff
Verdi Ogewell posted on November 02, 2018 |

Siemens’ former PLM chief, Chuck Grindstaff, is dead. He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, at the age of 61. This Oscar-winning—awarded in 2004 for contributions to the evolution of digital audio editing technology—and deeply skilled PLM expert has left an indelible footprint in our industry. His humility, and his ability to listen and produce concise analyses serve as exemplary characteristics for all of us.

I’ve had the honor of interviewing and discussing PLM and other matters with him on several occasions from 2000 and onwards. In May 2013, I featured an interview with Chuck as a part of a series called, “Battle of the Visions.” Although this took place five years ago, the things he had to say are still at the top of the agenda for companies all over the world.

He was a true visionary, with a unparalleled gift of being able to effectively communicate what he could see on the horizon, and contribute to translating disruptive technologies into working solutions in Siemens’ engineering-centric environment.

His career began at Unigraphics in 1978, where he led the development department of the company for many years. He was one of the drivers of the deal where Siemens bought the operation, and when Tony Affuso retired in 2010, Chuck Grindstaff was the unquestioned successor to become CEO of Siemens PLM Software.

Two years ago, he decided to step down from this position in order to spend time with his family and his California vineyards. He was about to produce his first harvest of grapes and had already decided to name the vine, “The Invincible Frog,” a name that shows off another characteristic of his personality: humor.

He chose the name because of the extensive rules and bureaucracy he had to get through before receiving permission to have the vineyards. The extensive administrative process that preceded this included, among other things, ensuring the environmental protection of the local frog population—frogs that Chuck barely saw at any time during work on the vineyards.

Meet Chuck Grindstaff in the 2013 interview that shares a lot about the PLM industry, its challenges, and where things were and still are heading. 

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