Nicholas Cumins leads as first non-family CEO of Bentley Systems

Following the CEO transition plan, Nicholas Cumins has taken charge as CEO, succeeding Greg Bentley, the eldest of the five brothers who founded Bentley Systems. Greg Bentley is now executive chair of its board of directors.

Nicholas Cumins, CEO, Bentley Systems (Image: Bentley Systems)

Cumins is the first CEO in the company’s 40-year history who is not a Bentley family member, marking a milestone in the company’s development.

The Bentley brothers redefined what was then computer-aided design (CAD) software when they developed MicroStation as an engineering application platform. Four decades of innovation and more than 120 acquisitions later, Bentley Systems is the provider of infrastructure engineering software, with its infrastructure digital twin solutions used to design, build, and operate (DBO) critical infrastructure around the world.

The transition to Cumins’ leadership comes at a time for infrastructure sectors. There are not enough engineers to accomplish the work required to achieve global sustainability targets while also adapting ageing infrastructure vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Cumins unveiled Bentley’s vision for infrastructure resilience, noting that engineering firms and asset owner-operators are looking to software to help them overcome the limitations of scarce talent.

“Infrastructure is at a watershed moment. Despite the massive capital investment in infrastructure projects and jobs post pandemic, so much more remains to be done to make infrastructure more resilient,” the new CEO said. “Our ability to bridge that gap will determine the quality of life for generations to come. Fortunately, a paradigm shift in software is reshaping the landscape. Artificial intelligence (AI) powered digital twin solutions are unlocking the value of data across the infrastructure lifecycle.”

For example, Bentley’s AI solutions are already transforming the way organisations are monitoring the health of roads, bridges, dams, water networks, and telecommunications towers.

“Every owner-operator in the world is looking for a simpler and more effective way to understand the condition of their assets,” he added. “Think what the power and possibilities of AI imply for improving asset performance and making infrastructure more resilient. This is the moment for our generation to apply its ingenuity and build upon the legacy of innovation to continue advancing the world’s infrastructure for better quality of life.”

Before his promotion to CEO, Cumins served as Bentley Systems COO from January 2022. He joined Bentley Systems as chief product officer in September 2020 prior to the company’s initial public offering (IPO).

Previously he was general manager of SAP Marketing Cloud and served as chief product officer of Scytl, a platform for online voting, and as senior vice-president of product with OpenX, a pioneer in programmatic advertising. Before OpenX, he had already served in senior roles at SAP, including product management, corporate strategy, and business development.

Cumins is a dual French and US citizen and is based in France.