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Zebra Technologies Corporation, the parent company of autonomous mobile robot maker Fetch Robotics, announced that it would be making Bill Burns, its current Chief Product and Solutions Officer, the new CEO of the company, and a member of the Zebra Board of Directors.
Burns will succeed Anders Gustafsson in the role of CEO, who will transition to being the Executive Chair of the Zebra Board of Directors. The change in leadership will take effect on March 1, 2023. Michael Smith, Zebra’s Board Chair, will also become Zebra’s Lead Independent Director.
“Anders has created a strong, inclusive culture based on our company values. I am committed to building on this momentum to attract, develop and retain the best talent globally,” Burns said. “I look forward to driving Zebra’s continued growth and further advancing our strategic vision. I’m excited about the future and the opportunities to continue to support our customers as they digitize and automate their environments.”
Burns has previously served as CEO at Embrane, which was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2015, and Spirent Communications, a provider of automated test and assurance solutions for cybersecurity. Burns joined Zebra in 2015 as the Senior Vice President of Enterprise Visibility and Mobility.
At Zebra, Burns has extended the company’s market share leadership and profitability across its core businesses while helping it to expand into adjacent markets.
Anders has spent 15 years as Zebra’s CEO and was only the second CEO in Zebra’s more than 50-year history. During his time as CEO, Anders helped to make the company a global leader in its core markets and advance the company’s vision of Enterprise Asset Intelligence.
“The need to digitize operations remains a strategic focus for our customers globally. Now more than ever, our customers need our solutions to improve workflows across their broader supply chains,” Gustafsson said. “Bill is the right leader to continue to advance our vision and further elevate Zebra as a trusted advisor to our customers and partners in our vibrant core as well as our high-growth adjacent and expansion markets.”
Zebra acquired Fetch Robotics for $290 million in 2021. Fetch offers a portfolio of AMRs and cloud-based software for deploying and integrating a range of automated workflows. The companies said the acquisition would help them integrate technology to connect human workers, tools like hand-held scanners and self-navigating robots, and the software that directs the flow of distribution, manufacturing and retail operations.