Source: Bentley
Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley will become executive chair on July 1.

Bentley announces CEO transition plan

May 8, 2024
COO Nicholas Cumins will become CEO; Greg Bentley will transition to executive chair

To further mark its 40th anniversary, Bentley Systems Inc. (BSY) reported Mar. 21 that Greg Bentley will transition from CEO to executive board chair on July 1, while Nicholas Cumins, presently COO, will be promoted to CEO and is expected to join the board. The announcement was made during the opening event for Bentley’s new U.K. headquarters in London.

Cumins has served as Bentley’s COO since January 2022, and joined the company as chief product officer in 2020. He previously served as GM of SAP Marketing Cloud, chief product officer of Scytl, a platform for online voting, and SVP of product with OpenX, a pioneer in programmatic advertising. Before OpenX, he’d already served in senior roles at SAP, including product management, corporate strategy and business development. 

“This year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of Bentley Systems, at its essence a company of engineers for engineers,” says Cumins. “Remarkably, the company has been founder- and family-led throughout those four decades. Greg has presided over an extraordinary legacy of long-term growth, sustained innovation and value creation inspired by a commitment to advancing the world’s infrastructure for better quality of life. Greg has had a profound influence on the lives and careers of Bentley colleagues, and together with them, on infrastructure engineers worldwide, taking pride in their work and what Bentley software enables them to accomplish. His entrepreneurial spirit is deeply embedded in the company’s culture and values. I’m honored to have been selected to follow in his footsteps, and I represent the Bentley leadership team when I say we’re confident in our readiness and growth mindset for the coming decades.”

CEO since 1995, Greg Bentley is the oldest of the five brothers, who founded Bentley Systems. Keith, Ray and Barry Bentley retired within the last several years, but remain as company directors.

 “I’m very pleased to be able to retire from CEO responsibilities this year (at age 69) with such confidence that this completion of our extended succession process now leaves Bentley Systems demonstrably able to increase its potential, while safeguarding its established performance,” adds Greg Bentley. “Under Nicholas Cumins as COO since January 2022 (and previously as chief product officer), both our ARR growth and operating margins have consistently improved to the highest levels in our 40-year history. And, during the three-plus years since BSY’s IPO and the expected retirement wave that enabled, we fully reinvigorated our executive leadership with a high-functioning cadre that, while 20 years younger, benefits from valuable public-company experience and is already reaching its collaborative stride.

“Most significantly, our board determined Nicholas to be the ideal CEO for our future by virtue of the continuity he respects and personifies in our ‘family values’ of dedication to the success of our colleagues, and the success of our users and accounts. Equally, I’m personally excited by the resolve and zeal of Nicholas and this next generation of leaders for technical and commercial innovation in our sustained mission.

“I’m looking forward to contributing as executive chair. Beyond supporting Nicholas behind the scenes in the functions naturally new to him, I’ll remain responsible for overall capital allocation, such as potential platform acquisitions. And by choice I’ll continue to regularly interact with our investment constituencies, with whom I’ve found particular affinity. Here’s to Bentley Systems’ next 40 years!”

About the Author

Jim Montague | Executive Editor

Jim Montague is executive editor of Control.