An interview was conducted with Brigitte de Vet-Veithen and Fried Vancraen.


the blog post into a story, while keeping the same logic and content.

Once upon a time in the bustling Additive Manufacturing (AM) market, there was a company called Materialise. For 30 years, this visionary founder led the company, establishing it as a true infrastructure for the 3D printing industry. But now, a new CEO named Brigitte was about to take over, bringing with her a wave of uncertainty and excitement.

I had the incredible opportunity to interview both the outgoing CEO, Fried, and the incoming CEO, Brigitte, about this monumental transition. I was eager to understand Fried’s feelings about leaving the company he had built from the ground up. He shared his big ambitions to see Materialise become an independent and long-lasting company in the market. This meant adhering to five-year plans and setting lofty goals. In 2019, Fried informed management that this would be his last plan, and since then, they had been working on a succession plan.

Fried acknowledged that it was the right time to pass the baton, as the new CEO could create her own five-year plan with her own management team. This would ensure long-term continuity and align with the company’s values and goals. Fried admitted that age had caught up with him, and he no longer had the energy required to lead the company. He also mentioned personal tragedies, which had taken a toll on him in recent years. Thus, the opportunity to work part-time was a relief for him. He described it as the best of both worlds, where he could maintain involvement without the pressures of leadership. Both Fried and his wife, Hilde, would still be connected to Materialise as board members and committed shareholders.

Despite the turbulence in the world, Fried remained a firm believer in 3D printing applications for a better and healthier world. He expressed his desire to continue inspiring Materialise staff and imparting the values of the firm. While Fried would still be available to the company, the responsibility of leading Materialise now rested firmly on Brigitte’s shoulders.

Addressing a common assumption, Fried responded to suggestions of splitting up Materialise and selling its various divisions to different companies. He argued that despite the possibility of a split, it simply didn’t make sense. The synergy created by having all three sections – software, services, and medical – within the company was invaluable. Fried highlighted the complex nature of the new software landscape, with different cloud environments and varying regulations. He believed that in the current business-to-business software industry, scaling was more challenging compared to a decade ago. With the evolution of 3D printing from prototyping to production, the implementation of application-specific code became essential. Fried emphasized that the intricate data flows from 3D printers to various applications and environments drove the logic of maintaining the firm as a single entity. This strategy allowed the company to build a robust, advanced, and scalable backbone that could be leveraged across all its units, environments, and clouds.

As the interview concluded, it became clear that Materialise was entering a new chapter with Brigitte at the helm. The future held both uncertainty and promise. Fried’s belief in the potential of 3D printing technology remained unwavering, as did his commitment to Materialise. With Brigitte taking charge, the company would find its path forward, building upon the foundation laid by its visionary founder.

And so, the story of Materialise continued, driven by innovation, resilience, and a shared vision of a better and healthier world through 3D printing.

How a New CEO is Leading the Growth of a Medical Device Firm

In the world of business, transitions of power and leadership changes can be delicate and challenging. However, when done right, they can also be a time of new opportunities and growth. This is exactly what is happening at Materialise, a leading medical device firm, as they welcome their new CEO, Brigitte.

Brigitte was chosen for her exceptional abilities as an executive, which extend far beyond just leading the medical business. She firmly believes that by solely focusing on the medical field, the firm could miss out on numerous other opportunities. With her background as a management consultant and her extensive experience at Johnson and Johnson, where she worked in senior sales and marketing roles, Brigitte brings a fresh perspective to Materialise.

Having previously been involved in business transformations, Brigitte was drawn to Materialise because of its values and culture. She recognized the potential for long-lasting impact and saw an opportunity to lead the medical division to even greater growth and success.

One might expect a new CEO to come in with a bang, making drastic changes right from the start. However, Brigitte has a different approach. She aims to maintain continuity with the past and build on the existing mission and vision of the organization. She understands the importance of a strong foundation and wants to implement changes in a way that ensures the company’s longevity.

One significant change Brigitte plans to make is shifting the focus from prototyping to industrialization. As the firm expands its reach, they will need to change the digital backbone that customers use and integrate additive manufacturing (AM) with traditional methods. In the medical division, there are already fantastic examples of Materialise’s software and the use of AI in making 3D printing more cost-efficient. Brigitte plans to bring this cost-efficiency to more customers and grow the entire additive manufacturing market.

Transitioning from a founder to a new CEO can be a sensitive time for any organization, but there are signs that Brigitte is the right person for the job. She shares many of the same qualities that made the founder successful – tenacity, humanism, and precision. Moreover, Brigitte is well-versed in Materialise’s culture and values, making her a great fit for the team.

Under Brigitte’s leadership, the firm is poised for a new era of growth and success. By embracing new technologies and expanding the applications of additive manufacturing, Materialise is set to create a more efficient and cost-effective market. This progress will not only benefit the firm but also the entire 3D printing industry.

To stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third-party vendors, be sure to follow Materialise’s journey. Exciting times are ahead as Brigitte takes the helm and leads the firm to new heights.

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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