Cognex Chair & Founder Shillman To Resign After 40 Years


The following is a press release submitted to SOURCE media through its business wire service


NATICK – Cognex Corporation today, February 11, announced that after 40 incredible years, Dr. Robert J. Shillman (“Doctor Bob”), Founder, Chair and Chief Culture Officer of Cognex, has decided to resign from Cognex’s board of directors and as an executive officer of Cognex, effective May 5, 2021.

Shillman will continue to hold his title of Chief Culture Officer until June 1, 2021.

After that time, he will assume the title of “Founder, Chair Emeritus and Adviser” and remain an employee of Cognex as an adviser to Cognex’s Chief Executive Officer, Robert J. Willett, and to Cognex’s Board of Directors. Anthony Sun, Cognex’s Lead Independent Director, will succeed Shillman as Chairman of Cognex’s Board.

“Doctor Bob’s contributions to Cognex’s ongoing success over these past 40 years are truly remarkable,” said Willett. “Doctor Bob’s brilliance and enthusiasm shaped the unique ‘Work Hard, Play Hard, Move Fast’ culture at Cognex, and we intend to carry on his vision for what an exceptional company should be well into the future.”

Shillman, 74, is the founder of Cognex and has served as Chairman of the Board and as an executive officer of Cognex since its founding in 1981. Shillman was Chief Executive Officer of Cognex from 1981 through March 2011, at which time he recruited Mr. Willett and promoted him to fill the CEO role.

Shillman holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Northeastern University, and both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the 40 years since its founding, Shillman and his team of Cognoids built Cognex into the world’s largest and most successful company specializing in machine vision.


Cognex Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and markets a wide range of image-based products, which use artificial intelligence (AI) techniques that give them the human-like ability to make decisions on what they see. Cognex products include machine vision systems, machine vision sensors, and barcode readers that are used in factories and distribution centers around the world where they eliminate production and shipping errors. Cognex is a world leader in the machine vision industry, having shipped more than 3 million image-based products, representing over $8 billion in cumulative revenue, since the company’s founding in 1981. Headquartered in Natick, Cognex has offices and distributors located throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia.


email: call or text at 508-315-7176

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