BOSTON (April 15, 2014) – In a move that raises the bar once again in the market for collaborative robotics, Rethink Robotics has tapped two software industry veterans to spearhead market innovation and product engineering. The company named Jim Lawton as chief marketing officer (CMO) and Milan Shah as its first vice president of software engineering.
As CMO, Lawton will lead Rethink’s marketing and product management teams. His charter includes cultivating a team that can identify, develop and deliver breakthrough innovation, and build awareness and adoption among the company’s target markets. Lawton, an inaugural fellow of MIT’s Leaders for Manufacturing Program, brings a proven track record in bringing visionary and effective software solutions to market, with an emphasis on solving challenges in manufacturing. He joins Rethink from Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE: DNB), where he led the business insight giant’s strategic move to integrate D&B’s data and analytics with solutions from companies like Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and SalesForce.
Shah, Rethink’s first VP for software engineering, brings more than 20 years of experience in building successful businesses around the development and delivery of enterprise-class solutions. With a career in both entrepreneurial and established business, from IMLogic, ultimately acquired by Symantec, to Microsoft and Computer Associates, Shah understands what it takes to deliver a steady state of continuous innovation. He joins Rethink from Core Security Technologies, where he revitalized a product family, and nearly doubled the company’s revenue in less than five years.
Today, Rethink Robotics’ Baxter robot acts as a workforce multiplier for world-class manufacturers and distributors in automotive, plastics, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and more, freeing human labor from repetitive and physically stressful tasks. Driven by a highly intuitive interface, the robot can be trained easily, significantly adding to the flexibility that companies have when deploying automation.
Rethink’s open platform allows for an ever-expanding portfolio of applications, including the ability to provide real-time data and insight that drives continuous process and productivity improvements. As collaborative robotics advances beyond robots that work side-by-side with humans toward an integrated model where robots interact with humans, the two executives bring critical mass to this emphasis on the role of software in driving robotics innovation.
“Our customers are ready for the next wave of automation, where robots are part of the team, adding flexibility and intelligence,” said Scott Eckert, Rethink Robotics’ CEO. “We’ve known since day one that in order to meet their needs, we need software that makes the innovation accessible and the robots more intelligent – Jim and Milan bring the know-how to help us make that vision a reality.”
Rethink Robotics, Inc. helps manufacturers meet the challenges of an agile economy with an integrated workforce, combining trainable, safe and cost-effective robots with skilled labor. Using Rethink robots as a workforce multiplier, world-class manufacturers and distributors in automotive, plastics, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and more, optimize labor to boost productivity and improve quality. With Rethink robots manufacturers increase flexibility, lower costs and the gain the ability to invest in skilled labor—all advantages in fueling continuous innovation and more flexible operations. The end result: manufacturers are more competitive and manufacturing jobs are good jobs again.
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the company is funded by Bezos Expeditions, Charles River Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Two Sigma Ventures. For more information about Rethink Robotics, please visit www.rethinkrobotics.com