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  • Cognex Corporation Board of Directors

    The Board of Directors of Cognex Corporation currently consists of seven board members. Two of the board members, Robert J. Shillman and Robert J. Willett, are executive officers of Cognex, and Patrick A. Alias is a non-executive employee of Cognex. The remaining four directors are "independent" as such term is defined in the applicable listing standard of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC.

    Dr. Robert J. Shillman, Chairman
    Dr. Shillman, known to many as “Dr. Bob,” founded Cognex in 1981, and served as the company’s Chief Executive officer from 1981 until March 2011, when, upon  his recommendation, Robert Willett was promoted to fill that role. He has served as a director since 1981.  As CEO of Cognex, Dr. Shillman gained international recognition for his unique work hard/play hard management style. He was named Inc. Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year in 1990, received an Achievement Award in Leadership from the Automated Imaging Association in 1992, and received the North American SEMI Award in 2005 for his contributions to the semiconductor industry. Dr. Shillman holds a B.S.E.E. from Northeastern University, as well as an M.S.E.E. and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Patrick A. Alias, Senior Vice President, Cognex Corporation
    Mr. Alias has been Senior Vice President of Cognex since April 2005, and previously was Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Cognex from 1991 through April 2005. Prior to joining Cognex, Mr. Alias spent over 20 years in high technology management in Europe, Japan and the United States. He holds Master’s Degrees in Electronics, Mathematics, and Economics from IEP in Europe, and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Business School. Mr. Alias was first elected a Director of Cognex Corporation in 2001.

    Theodor Krantz, Vice President, Airmar Technology Corporation.
    Mr. Krantz has been Vice President of Airmar Technology Corporation, a world leader in ultrasonic sensors for the marine and industrial markets since May 2011.  He was President of Airmar Technology, Inc. from 2000 until taking on his current role. From 1984 to 1999, he served as President, and later Chief Executive Officer, of Velcro Industries. Mr. Krantz was first elected a Director of Cognex in 2007.  He also serves as a director and member of the audit committees of Hitchiner Manufacturing Company and Control Air, Inc.  Mr. Krantz holds a B.A. from Princeton University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.

    Jeffrey Miller, Former President, Markem Corporation
    Mr. Miller is the former President of Markem Corporation, a leading global provider of product identification solutions, where he spent a 27-year career.  In 2006, he managed the sale of the company to Dover Corporation, and retired from the company in 2008.  Since 2008, he has been an independent consultant working with community-based early stage companies, serving on numerous non-profit boards, local government agencies and commissions, and in professional directorships. Mr. Miller was first elected a Director of Cognex in 2010. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of two private companies.  Mr. Miller holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College, and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.

    Bruce Robinson, Former Chairman and CEO, Zygo Corporation
    Mr. Robinson is the former Chairman and CEO of Zygo Corporation, a worldwide supplier of optical metrology instruments, precision optics and electro-optical design and manufacturing services. He joined Zygo in 1999 as President and retired from the company in 2010. Prior to that Mr. Robinson served as President of Worldwide Operations for The Foxboro Company, a $1.3 billion manufacturer of instruments and control systems for process industries. He began his 25-year career at The Foxboro Company as a systems engineer in 1974. Mr. Robinson was elected a Director of Cognex in 2013. He holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

    Anthony Sun, Former Managing General Partner, Venrock Associates
    Mr. Sun was the managing general partner of Venrock Associates, a venture capital partnership, from 1997 until his retirement in December 2009, and was a general partner of Venrock from 1980-1997. Mr. Sun was first elected a Director of Cognex in 1982. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of several private companies.

    Reuben Wasserman, Business Consultant
    Mr. Wasserman has been an independent consultant serving high tech corporations, venture capital firms, and serving on numerous boards since 1985. Prior to 1985, Mr. Wasserman was Vice President of Strategic Planning for Gould Electronics, Inc. Mr. Wasserman was first elected a Director of Cognex in 1990. He also serves as a member of the Board of Overseers of Lahey Clinic, as a director at AMR, Inc., and as a member of the Advisory Board for the Threshold Program at Lesley University and the Advisory Council of the Scripps Florida Research Institution.

    Robert J. Willett, President and Chief Executive Officer 
    Mr. Willett has been Chief Executive Officer of Cognex since March 2011.  He joined Cognex in June 2008 as the President of the Modular Vision Systems Division (MVSD), and was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer in January 2010.  Mr. Willett came to Cognex from Danaher Corporation, a diversified manufacturer of industrial controls and technologies, where he served as Vice President of Business Development and Innovation for the company’s Product Identification business group.  Prior to that Mr. Willett was President of Videojet Technologies, a leader in coding and marking products, which is a subsidiary of Danaher. He was first elected a Director of Cognex in 2011. Mr. Willett holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University, and an MBA from Yale University.