Management Appointments at Cognex, Onset

Robert Willett is named Cognex president and chief operating officer, while former Cognex Executive Vice President Justin Testa joins Onset Computer as president.

{mosimage}Cognex Corp. (, Natick, Mass., a leading supplier of machine vision systems, announced on Jan. 5 the promotion of Robert Willett to president and chief operating officer. Willett will assume these responsibilities in addition to his current role as president of the Modular Vision Systems Division (MVSD), which is the largest operating division of Cognex. Willett will continue reporting to Dr. Robert J. Shillman, who remains the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.

In a separate announcement on Jan. 6, Onset Computer Corp. (, a Bourne, Mass.-based supplier of data loggers, announced that Justin Testa has been hired as the company’s new president. Most recently, Testa served as executive vice president and business unit manager for Cognex, where he was responsible for the development and execution of a business strategy designed to accelerate the company's growth and market position of its core machine vision business, Onset said.

{mosimage}As president of Cognex, Willett will oversee both the Modular Vision Systems Division and the Surface Inspection Systems Division (SISD).  Thomas F. Nash will continue in his current role as president of the Surface Inspection Systems Division, but he will now report to Willett rather than to  Shillman. Finance and Administration, under the direction of Cognex executive vice president and chief financial officer Richard A. Morin, will continue to report to Shillman.

 Expectations met

“When Rob joined Cognex as President of MVSD in 2008, it was with the expectation that after he proved himself in that role, he would become president of Cognex and be responsible for both of our divisions,” said Shillman. “Over the past year and a half, Rob has exceeded my expectations and those of our Board of Directors. Rob has streamlined MVSD’s operations and managed that division back to profitability during very difficult economic times, and he did so without sacrificing progress on strategic initiatives that are important for the company’s future success.  And, despite the reductions in operating expenses, Rob has been able to maintain the company’s work hard/play hard culture and winning spirit.”

“After a year and a half with the company, I am more enthusiastic than ever about Cognex,” said Willett. “We have a very talented and dedicated team, a great pipeline of products, and new business partnerships that will help us bring those products to more users and more markets around the world. As the global economy recovers, Cognex is in a very strong position to increase its share in the machine vision and industrial ID markets, and I look forward to leading the Cognex teams around the world to make that happen.”


Prior to joining Cognex in 2008, Willett served as group vice president of business development and innovation for the Product Identification business group at Danaher Corp., a diversified manufacturer of industrial controls and technologies, with annual revenues of more than $10 billion.  Prior to that role, he served as president of Videojet Technologies, a subsidiary of Danaher and a market leader in coding and marking products, with revenue in excess of $500 million. Before joining Danaher, he was chief executive officer of Willett International Ltd., a global coding and marking company that he sold to Danaher in 2003, and which was merged into Videojet.

At Onset, Testa brings a strong background in product management and marketing strategy to his new role. He has more than 28 years of sales, marketing, and general management experience.

“Onset holds a strong position as the global leader in innovative measurement, data logging and monitoring solutions,” said Testa. “I look forward to working with our experienced and talented team to expand our reach and increase our market share.”

Cognex Corp.

Onset Computer Corp.

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