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Autodesk CFO Positions Company for Move to Cloud, Mobile and Consumer Marketplace

Tuesday, November 27th 2012
By Joe Francica

At the Autodesk University Media/Press Day in Las Vegas, chief financial officer Mark Hawkins laid out the numbers justifying why his company is racing to provide applications for the consumer marketplace:

Ninety-five (95) million people comprise the potential addressable consumer market for Autodesk applications. And while Hawkins acknowledged that his company has 12 million professional users of its core 3D engineering software tools and 50 million student users that have access, it's the consumer market that is driving the company's direction.Homestyler, a personal home design solution, and 123D Catch, a product that turns photos into 3D models, are examples of products that Autodesk is offering to consumers.

"These are the numbers that make everything else possible in the company," said Hawkins. He went on to say that Autodesk is well positioned to capture a significant share of the consumer space because of its size ($2.3 billion annual revenue; $1.7 billion in marketable securities) and stability plus being located at the "epicenter" of Silicon Valley. "[We have] the right financials, the right acquisition resources, the ability to grow organically and we're located in the right place to leverage the cloud revolution," said Hawkins.

What financial challenges confront Autodesk these days?  Hawkins said it is finding the right balance for short and long term investing. "During the downturn, we invested during the down cycle of the recession," he said. He said this was a concerted effort because as they come out at the other end of the cycle Autodesk is better poised for the future. "Autodesk is investing more than our competitors," he said.

Editor's note: Autodesk partially supported travel to Autodesk Univeristy 2012.

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