NATICK, MA, USA January 05, 2010
Cognex Corporation Promotes Robert Willett to President and Chief Operating Officer
NATICK, MA, January 5, 2010—Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ: CGNX), the world's leading supplier of machine vision systems, has announced the promotion of Robert Willett to President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Willett will assume these responsibilities in addition to his current role as President of the Modular Vision Systems Division (MVSD), which is the largest operating division of Cognex. Mr. Willett will continue reporting to Dr. Robert J. Shillman, who remains the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
As President of Cognex Corporation, Mr. Willett will oversee both the Modular Vision Systems Division (MVSD) and the Surface Inspection Systems Division (SISD). Thomas F. Nash will continue in his current role as President of the Surface Inspection Systems Division, but he will now report to Mr. Willett rather than to Dr. Shillman. Finance and Administration, under the direction of Cognex Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard A. Morin, will continue to report to Dr. Shillman.
“When Rob joined Cognex as President of MVSD in 2008, it was with the expectation that after he proved himself in that role, he would become President of Cognex and be responsible for both of our divisions,” said Dr. Robert J. Shillman, Chairman and CEO of Cognex. “Over the past year and a half, Rob has exceeded my expectations and those of our Board of Directors. Rob has streamlined MVSD’s operations and managed that division back to profitability during very difficult economic times, and he did so without sacrificing progress on strategic initiatives that are important for the company’s future success. And, despite the reductions in operating expenses, Rob has been able to maintain the company’s work hard/play hard culture and winning spirit.”
“After a year and a half with the company, I am more enthusiastic than ever about Cognex,” said Mr. Willett. “We have a very talented and dedicated team, a great pipeline of products, and new business partnerships that will help us bring those products to more users and more markets around the world. As the global economy recovers, Cognex is in a very strong position to increase its share in the machine vision and industrial ID markets, and I look forward to leading the Cognex teams around the world to make that happen.”
Mr. Willett joined Cognex in 2008 as Executive Vice President and President of the Modular Vision Systems Division. Prior to that he served as Group Vice President of Business Development and Innovation for the Product Identification business group at Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR), a diversified manufacturer of industrial controls and technologies, with annual revenues of more than $10 billion. Prior to that role, he served as President of Videojet Technologies, a subsidiary of Danaher and a market leader in coding and marking products, with revenue in excess of $500 million. Before joining Danaher, he was CEO of Willett International Ltd., a global coding and marking company that he sold to Danaher in 2003, and which was merged into Videojet.
Certain statements made in this press release, which do not relate solely to historical matters, are forward-looking statements. These statements can be identified by use of the words “expects,” “anticipates,” ”estimates,” “believes,” “projects,” “intends,” “plans,” “will,” “may,” “shall,” “could,” and similar words. These forward-looking statements, which include statements regarding business and market trends, future financial performance, customer demand and order rates, strategic plans and the impact of the company’s cost-cutting measures, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such risks and uncertainties include: (1) current and future conditions in the global economy; (2) the cyclicality of the semiconductor and electronics industries; (3) the inability to achieve significant international revenue; (4) fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; (5) the loss of a large customer; (6) the reliance upon key suppliers to manufacture and deliver critical components for Cognex products; (7) the inability to attract and retain skilled employees; (8) the inability to design and manufacture high-quality products; (9) the technological obsolescence of current products and the inability to develop new products; (10) the failure to effectively manage product transitions or accurately forecast customer demand; (11) the failure to properly manage the distribution of products and services; (12) the inability to protect Cognex proprietary technology and intellectual property; (13) Cognex’s involvement in time-consuming and costly litigation; (14) the impact of competitive pressures; (15) the challenges in integrating and achieving expected results from acquired businesses; (16) potential impairment charges with respect to Cognex’s investments or for acquired intangible assets or goodwill; (17) potential disruption to Cognex’s business from its restructuring programs; (18) exposure to additional tax liabilities; and (19) the other risks detailed in Cognex reports filed with the SEC, including its Form 10-K for the fiscal year 2008 and subsequent reports on Form 10-Q. You should not place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Cognex disclaims any obligation to update forward-looking statements after the date of such statements.