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Senior Management

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
Sheila DiPalma
Executive VP of Corporate Employee Services and Corporate Officer

As Executive 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.

Carl Gerst
Carl Gerst
Executive Vice President, Vision and ID Products

Mr. Gerst oversees global engineering and product development, product management, and product marketing for Cognex’s Vision and ID products. Since joining Cognex in 1999, Mr. Gerst has been instrumental in managing and scaling the development, innovation, and performance of the company’s products. Under his leadership, Cognex has released market-leading products in the areas of embedded vision systems, high-performance barcode readers, 3D dimensioning systems, vision-enabled mobile terminals, and logistics solutions. Prior to joining Cognex, Mr. Gerst held roles in engineering, sales, and product marketing for Hand Held Products (now Honeywell Imaging and Mobility), a leading supplier of Automatic Identification and Data Collection equipment. Mr. Gerst holds a B.S. Degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University and an M.B.A. from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.

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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