Senior Vice President, Design, Lifecycle & Simulation
Robert “Buzz” Kross is senior vice president of Design, Lifecycle and Simulation at Autodesk and is responsible for defining and producing the world’s best products for life cycle management, simulation, mechanical design and manufacturing engineering. He drives the development of Autodesk products including Autodesk® PLM 360, Autodesk® Product Design Suite, Autodesk® Factory Design Suite and Autodesk® Inventor® software, which helps users go beyond 3D to Digital Prototyping.
After earning a bachelor of science degree from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, Kross began working as a mechanical engineer at Triangle Package Machinery. He soon moved on to a nine-year career in software development, application engineering, and technical management at General Electric and GE Calma.
Kross co-founded and ran Woodbourne Inc., a company providing parametric design tools for the AutoCAD platform, which was acquired by Autodesk in 1993. By that point, Kross brought a wealth of invaluable experience to his new role as a director for Autodesk’s manufacturing division. In 1998, the division introduced Autodesk Inventor, the company’s first product not based on AutoCAD and now one of its most successful product offerings.
Kross describes his time at Autodesk as constantly challenging, and as nurturing his competitive side. A competitive spirit is important to Kross, and he brings that spirit to his job every day.
“Autodesk wants to continue to be an important company,” he says. “Our customers’ rely on Autodesk software to design and build great products that are helping to change the world. By continually broadening our advantage over our competition, we are able to more fully participate in our customers’ successes.”
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