Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of Cognex Corporation currently consists of nine 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 six directors are "independent" as such term is defined in the applicable listing standard of The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC.
Dr. Robert J. Shillman, Chairman and Chief Culture Officer, Cognex Corporation
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 more than 20 years in high technology management in Europe, Japan and the United States. He holds Master’s Degrees in Electronics, Mathematics, and Economics, and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Business School. Mr. Alias was first elected a Director of Cognex in 2001.
Eugene Banucci, Founder and Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ATMI, Inc.
Dr. Banucci is the founder and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ATMI, Inc., a publicly held company that was acquired in 2014. Prior to starting ATMI, he held management positions at General Electric Company and American Cyanamid Company. Dr. Banucci has served on numerous boards; in particular, he was a member of the Board of Directors of then publicly held company Zygo Corporation from 2003 through 2010. Dr. Banucci was first elected a Director of Cognex in 2015. He currently serves as Lead Director on the Board of Clean Harbors, Inc., a publicly held company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Beloit College and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Wayne State University.
Theodor Krantz, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Airmar Technology Corporation.
Mr. Krantz has been Vice President and Chief Financial Officer 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 and traceability 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. He has served on numerous non-profit boards, local government agencies and commissions, and devotes significant time in an advisory and board capacity to non-profit organizations. 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 then publicly held company Zygo Corporation, a worldwide supplier of optical metrology instruments, precision optics and electro-optical design and manufacturing services. He joined Zygo in 1999 retired from the company in 2010 and served as consultant from 2010 to 2014. 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.
Jerry Schneider, Business Consultant
Mr. Schneider has been an independent business and financial consultant since 2014. From 2004 to 2013, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Vistage International, a private equity-owned CEO peer-advisory membership company with over 20,000 members. Prior to Vistage, Mr. Schneider spent seven years at Fresenius Medical Care—North America, a global dialysis service and products company, where he served as Chief Financial Officer and later as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning. Between 1994 and 1997, Mr. Schneider was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of then publicly held GranCare, Inc. (GC), a healthcare company in the long-term care, assisted living and institutional pharmacy business. Mr. Schneider was first elected a director of Cognex in 2016. He serves on a number of other for-profit and non-profit boards. Mr. Schneider received his Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School, and a B.S. in Accounting from the University of California at Berkeley.
Anthony Sun, Former Managing General Partner, Venrock Associates
Mr. Sun was the managing general partner and Chief Executive Officer of Venrock Associates, a venture capital partnership, from 1997 until his retirement in 2010. He joined Venrock in 1979 and was a general partner of Venrock from 1980 until 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.
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 B.A. from Brown University, and an M.B.A. from Yale University.