Leadership

Artificial Intelligence, Fueled by Human Ingenuity

Rethink Robotics’ leadership team is filled with highly skilled professionals in their respective fields, with technology expertise spanning robotics, artificial intelligence, software development, and systems engineering.

We know what it takes to bring new product categories to market. And manufacturing high-quality, high-volume products is in our DNA.  We are committed to building a strong company that values employees and strives for our customers’ success.

Rodney Brooks

Founder, Chairman and CTO

A mathematics undergraduate in his native Australia, Rodney received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford in 1981. From 1984 to 2010, he was on the MIT faculty, and completed his service as a Professor of Robotics. He was also the founding Director of the Institute’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and served in that role until 2007. In 1990, he co-founded iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT), where he served variously as CTO, Chairman and board member until 2011.  Rodney has been honored by election to the National Academy of Engineering, and has been elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association of Computing Machinery, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Rodney is also an accomplished presenter, and speaks regularly to promote the value of robotics and artificial intelligence in venues throughout the world.

Portrait of Rodney Brooks

Scott Eckert

President and CEO

A seasoned manager with experience in building high-growth businesses, Scott was President and CEO of Motion Computing, the leading provider of tablet PCs for vertical markets, taking the company from a startup to #1 in the world in its category. Prior to Motion Computing, Scott was an executive at Dell, Inc. and widely known as the founder and general manager of Dell’s worldwide Internet business unit. Under his leadership, Dell.com grew from zero to a multi-billion dollar business unit and the world’s largest e-commerce site at the time. Scott was also Managing Director for Dell’s Home and Small Business Division in the UK and Ireland, one of the company’s largest international business units. Prior to entering the technology industry, Scott spent a number of years in strategy consulting and as part of a turnaround team in the consumer product industry. Scott holds a BA in Quantitative Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).

Portrait of Scott Eckert

Jason Barton

Chief Revenue Officer

Jason’s experience centers on selling innovative technology solutions to both commercial and consumer markets. He recently served as COO at EnergyHub, a maker of home energy management products. He joined EnergyHub from Segway, where he was Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing. Jason joined Segway from Palm, where he held progressive sales positions, ultimately leading sales for Palm’s U.S. enterprise business. Previously Jason led UK sales and marketing for Precor Inc., a manufacturer of premium fitness equipment. Jason earned a BA Honors Degree from the University of Wales.

Portrait of Jason Barton

Steve Daignault

VP, Finance

With more than two decades of experience in leadership and senior management roles, Steve has focused his finance career in venture-backed, startup technology companies, driving growth from early stage to IPO or acquisition. Most recently, Steve was with High Street Partners, a leader in international business services. Prior to that, he held senior finance roles at envIO Networks, Ellacoya Networks and Maker Communications. He began his career with Deloitte & Touche in Boston. Steve is a licensed certified public accountant and he graduated from Holy Cross College with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics/Accounting.

Steve Daignault

Jim Daly

COO

Jim is an experienced leader with a successful track record of launching innovative new products, building highly effective teams and consistently delivering strong results. Recruited as an early member of the senior management team, Jim leads operational execution across the globe, including new product introduction, supply chain, manufacturing, quality, customer support, training and product deployment. He was previously VP of Operations at consumer startups Zeemote and Tea Forte, Director of Manufacturing Operations for Handspring (acquired by Palm), and Manufacturing Director of Solectron’s Complex Systems Division. Jim earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Santa Clara University.  He serves on the Advisory Board for Robotics Engineering at WPI.

Portrait of Jim Daly

Jim Lawton

Chief Product & Marketing Officer

A Technology Executive with experience driving innovation and growth at companies ranging from start-up technology ventures to Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to Rethink Robotics, he was an executive at Dun & Bradstreet leading an innovative new data and analytics business unit on track to deliver several hundred million in revenue. Jim also led D&B’s Supply Management Solutions where he spearheaded efforts to make a critical strategic acquisition and innovate the new market category of supplier risk management. Earlier, Jim was VP and GM of D&B’s Open Ratings subsidiary. Jim had served as Vice President of Marketing for Open Ratings (acquired by D&B) where he transformed a 5-year-old internet company into an aggressive SaaS provider. Jim was VP of Marketing for Optiant and VP of Product Marketing for ECNet. He began his career at Hewlett Packard. Jim holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University, an MS in Electrical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Portrait of Jim Lawton

Kurt Reiner

VP, Software Development

Kurt is an experienced technical leader with a proven track record of building high-caliber teams to launch and evolve new software products and services. Before leading the software team at Rethink, Kurt oversaw the development of consumer gaming products for Demiurge Studios. He successfully guided the studio through a transition from a consultancy to an original product development studio which led to its acquisition by Sega of America. In his 20-year career in software as a developer and manager, Kurt has launched a dozen products on mobile, PC, and gaming consoles for companies like Electronic Arts, Harmonix, Gearbox and BioWare. Kurt graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and holds a Master of Science and a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Steve Toebes

VP, Hardware Development

An experienced executive technical leader in the robotics, automation, semiconductor and defense industries, Steve has more than 23 years of experience in engineering and product development, the last 16 of which have been leading hardware and software engineering teams through all phases of new product development in automation and robotics. Prior to Rethink Robotics, Steve served as vice president of engineering for Harvest Automation, leading the hardware, software, systems and quality groups in the design of robots for warehouse, e-commerce and agricultural material handling industries. Steve also served as vice president of hardware engineering at Symbotic LLC and was one of the original team members that helped design the entire Symbotic system for automated case picking through the use of mobile robots.  Steve also served in senior product development roles at Brooks Automation and started his career as a mechanical engineer at Raytheon. He holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University and numerous patents in automation and robotics.

Steve Toebes, VP of Hardware Development at Rethink Robotics

Ann Whittaker

Co-Founder and VP, People & Culture

Ann’s experience includes various management roles at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the David Rockefeller Jr. Family Office, Millennium Pharma and PAREXEL International. Ann received a BA in International Studies from American University and a Master of Business Administration from Babson College.

Portrait of Ann Whitaker