The president and chief operating officer of Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) has announced plans to retire. Rich Freeland will step down from his role, as well as the Cummins Board of Directors, in October after 40 years with the manufacturing company.

Cummins says Freeland joined the company in 1979 as a second shift foreman in Parts Distribution Center in Columbus. During his tenure, Freeland led three of the company's five business segments before becoming COO in 2014. 

"I want to personally thank Rich for his many contributions to Cummins and his friendship and support over the 25 years I have known and worked with him," Tom Linebarger, chief executive officer of Cummins, said in a news release. "He is one of the most effective leaders in Cummins history because of his ability to connect with customers, develop our employees, and his deep understanding of nearly every element of our business. Equally impressive to me is that Rich has accomplished these things in an unassuming, humble manner. He has an unrelenting commitment to our core values and always makes the right decisions for our business, for our people and our communities. His positive impact is vast, and Rich will be missed by many, many people inside and outside of Cummins."

Freeland's retirement will be effective October 15. Cummins has also detailed succession plans, which will go into effect on the same day.

The company says Tony Satterthwaite, who currently serves as distribution president for Cummins, will succeed Freeland as president and COO. Cummins also announced additional promotions:

  • Components President Tracy Embree will succeed Satterthwaite as Distribution Business President.
  • Chief Technical Officer Jennifer Rumsey will succeed Embree as Components Business President.
  • Jim Fier will succeed Rumsey as Chief Technical Officer.

"I also want to congratulate Tony, Tracy, Jennifer and Jim on their new roles," said Linebarger. "They are all incredibly talented leaders who have demonstrated their ability to lead people, drive results and make Cummins a stronger company, and a better place to work. I am excited for each of them and looking forward to working with them as we drive our company forward focusing on our growth plans and continuing to deliver value to our customers and all our stakeholders."

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story referred to Freeland as chief executive officer.