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Jim Rock has stepped down as CEO of Seegrid after nearly a decade. Seegrid is a Pittsburgh-based developer of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for logistics operations.
Joe Pajer has been named the new CEO of Seegrid, effective immediately. Pajer, who obtained both his master’s in management and bachelor’s in civil engineering, engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University, most recently served as the president and CEO of Calero Software, a Rochester, New York-based provider of communications and cloud lifecycle management solutions that merged with a competitor – MDSL – in 2019. He served as president and CEO of two other companies: Thinklogical, a Connecticut-based IT firm, and Vocollect, a Pittsburgh-based software maker that now operates as a division of Honeywell Safety & Productivity Solutions.
Rock made the news public yesterday on his LinkedIn page. He said he will move into an advisory role with Seegrid and remain a shareholder and a member of its board of directors.
“I have tremendous respect for, and confidence in the team, and want to thank everyone involved in growing Seegrid, including current and former employees, customers, partners, advisors and investors. While I contemplate options for the next chapter of my professional life, I will continue to enthusiastically champion for Seegrid’s continued success in the burgeoning robotics and automation space – what a great time to be a part of this exciting market!”
Rock spoke to Pittsburgh Inno about the decision to step down, calling it a personal move. He called the naming of Pajer as CEO “a pretty significant upgrade for Seegrid in terms of leadership.”
Rock received a number of congratulatory messages on social media from industry peers and competitors.
“Jim, I have really enjoyed our interactions. Your insights and vision are always inspiring,” said Daniel Theobald, founder and chief innovation officer at Vecna Robotics. “Let’s continue to collaborate and help the material handling industry transform itself into a new, more efficient, sustainable system that meets customer’s needs and uses resources smartly! Best wishes on the next steps in that journey.”
“Thank you Jim. For your humble leadership and for shepherding Seegrid to where it is today – a leader both in its market and in the Pittsburgh robotics community,” said Joel Reed, executive director of the Pittsburgh Robotics Network. “Can’t wait to see what comes next.”
The Robot Report broke the news about Seegrid laying off 90 employees at the beginning of August 2022. The company is also in the middle of raising a $75 million equity round of funding.
Founded in 2003, Seegrid has a variety of models in its Palion portfolio, including Lift AMRs, the Tow Tractor and Pallet Truck AMR. In June 2021, Seegrid launched support for a Robots as a Service (RaaS) subscription model.
Seegrid in October 2020 acquired LiDAR startup Box Robotics. At the time of the deal, Seegrid said the acquisition will help it advance its vision-guided robots for safe materials handling.
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