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Senior Management

Robert Shillman
Dr. Robert J. Shillman
Chairman and Founder

Since founding Cognex in 1981, Dr. Shillman has 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.

Robert Willet
Robert Willett
President and Chief Executive Officer

As President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Willett oversees all aspects of strategy and operations for Cognex Corporation. Mr. Willett came to Cognex in 2008 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. Mr. Willett also served as Chief Executive Officer of Willett International Ltd., a $125 million privately owned coding company with 30 wholly owned sales companies around the world, which he sold to Danaher in 2003 and which was merged with Videojet. He holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.B.A. from Yale University. Mr. Willett currently serves on the Board of Clean Harbors, Inc, a publicly held company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Sheila DiPalma
Senior VP of Corporate Employee Services and Corporate Officer

As Senior Vice President of Corporate Employee Services, Ms. DiPalma is responsible for talent recruitment, compensation, benefits, payroll and employee development for Cognex, and oversees the wide array of programs designed to enhance and preserve the company’s unique corporate culture. Ms. DiPalma joined Cognex in 1992 as Senior Reporting Accountant. She served for more than 20 years in a series of increasingly responsible roles in the Finance Department, including six years as Cognex Treasurer, before transitioning to Corporate Employee Services in 2016. Prior to joining Cognex, Ms. DiPalma was a member of the audit firm at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She holds a B.S. in Accounting from Boston College, a M.S. in Taxation from Bentley College, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Paul Todgham
Paul Todgham
Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer

As Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Todgham leads Cognex’s global finance and administration organization. Prior to joining Cognex in March of 2020, he spent six years at Levi Strauss & Company (NYSE: LEVI), where he held a range of senior leadership positions, including leading finance for the company’s Global Supply Chain, Distribution, Merchandising, Planning, Design and Marketing teams. He previously served as Vice President of Finance for Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST) where he oversaw Financial Planning & Analysis and Treasury. Earlier in his career, Mr. Todgham worked at The Boston Consulting Group, advising clients in the technology and consumer sectors on issues of strategy, operations and organization. Mr. Todgham holds an MBA from Stanford University, an MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and a BA in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University.


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